DRM-Free Music Sells, Major Labels Keep Pretending The Jury Is Still Out

from the annoying-customers-isn't-good-business dept

The idea that DRM-free music might just make good business sense smolders along, as eMusic is announcing they've managed to sell 100 million unprotected songs without the world coming to an end. As part of the promotion, the customer who purchased the milestone track will have a song written about him by the Barenaked Ladies, who'll include the song on as a bonus track for their upcoming album. The record labels have consistently claimed you can't be successful selling music that isn't copy-protected -- but eMusic's second place showing (behind iTunes) shows that's clearly not the case. They continue to sell more music than Rhapsody, Napster and MSN Music combined, all while catering to indie music fans by avoiding major label content. 2006 saw a growth in smaller content providers arguing that DRM-free content can be part of a sustainable business model, but there's still a shortage of major industry players acknowledging DRM's limitations. Meanwhile the major labels continue to pretend either that the idea has no legs -- or that they need to conduct further experiments to see if demand for DRM-free content actually exists. There simply can be no talk of a trend toward unprotected content en-masse as long as the music industry continues to pursue the idea in half-assed ways.

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  1. identicon
    LJSeinfeld, 15 Dec 2006 @ 5:57am

    Re: Rhapsody and Napster are subscription service

    Umm yeah... I don't want to *subscribe* to my music that I'm paying for. I want to own it and be able to do whatever I damn-well please with it.

    Subscription service music is DRM laden, and IMHO worse than buying (even) DRM'd files from services like iTunes. Little ticking time-bombs just waiting to expire. If you buy that crap, you're not part of the solution -- you're part of the problem. At least there are various workarounds for ITMS downloads..

    I also applaud the BNL for being involved with this promotion. They're awesome.
    -------------------
    by Anonymous Coward on Dec 14th, 2006 @ 5:13pm
    Rhapsody and Napster are subscription services...

    so what if eMusic is out selling them...

    they dont sell that many songs.
    -------------------

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