DRM –Damn Right Majors – 2/1/2007
Happy New Year and all that tripe…
And so we go into 2008 and Warner become the 4th and final major to sack off DRM: Hu-rah! I did do a little blog on DRM a while ago but the industry has adopted a rather widdershin approach to its initial stance that it took only a few months ago. In September the CE of Warner Music Edgar Bronfman said that “DRM is here to stay”, a line that now reads “By removing a barrier to the sale and enjoyment of audio downloads, we bring an energy-sapping debate to a close” in an email he sent out to Warner employees.
This now means that every one of the four majors is to have some form of non-DRM music on sale (3 of the majors opting for Amazon’s rather frustratingly US-only download store – when do we get it?!) by mid 2008. A move which I humbly believe will see the whole concept of DRM being dead by the end of the year.
When Amazon launch their music store worldwide after the beta testing stage, and if they can secure the final major’s catalogue of music, then (and only then) will we finally have someone who can compete with iTunes. This HAS to force iTunes to reconsider their model and end their use of DRM because who is still going to use iTunes when they can go to amazon.com and get the same music, with no restrictions, for at least the same price if not cheaper? Then when the iTunes monster finally caves in its officially bye bye DRM. You came, you saw, you failed to conquer.
I must admit I didn’t think the plight of DRM would end up being as nebbish as it has been. I thought the majors would fight their little hearts out to keep hold of it, to stop piracy and therefore ‘make’ more money, but as history has shown time and time again; the consumer always wins. We’ve never had restrictions before so why should we have them now?
I, as you can probably tell, am quite chuffed at this announcement. I will end up downloading and paying for much more music then what I do now as I know I can have it whenever and where ever I want it. I may be guilty of emailing the odd track over to a friend here or there but its only as I believe they’ll like it and if they do they’ll therefore go and purchase it themselves, or see them live, or buy their t-shirt, or buy their next single, or join their fan club, or spend their cash on them in one of the other variety of ways there are to spend cash on your favorite artists these days.
What do you lot think? Killing the industry? Or saving it?
Thought I’d do a few predications for 2008:
What will happen:
– DRM will die (think I’ve mentioned that)
– Pete Doherty will OD
– Although I will be incredibly impressed with Radiohead’s live show in Manchester during the summer –I still won’t think they’re better then Muse
– Kids In Glass Houses and The Ting Tings will be massive
– Clipe Sexo Amador will continue his reign as the Rick Wakeman of the Casio generation
– It won’t rain at Glastonbury
– I’ll go and see Justice live again and remember that I don’t actually like dance music that much
– Madonna will re-re-re-re-re-re-reinvent herself
What won’t happen:
– Hard Fi will get dropped to my delight
– The remaining members of the Beatles and the Who will reform to create; “The Whotles”
– Keith Richards will die
– iTunes will do a deal with Ikea so you can pretty much get everything in the store with an iPod dock and imbedded speakers included; the highlight of the ‘iKea’ range will be the iFuton – why ever sleep in silence again?
– Dave Grohl will fight with paparazzi after arriving drunk on stage at the Foo Fighters Wembley gig
– The O2 arena will rebrand itself as the O2O7 arena to be in regulation with area codes
– Freddie Mercury will rise up from beyond the grave and destroy both Paul Rogers and Ben Elton
What I’m listening to this week: Envy and Other Sins (Congratulations on winning lads!) and The Displacements
What I’m reading this week: The QI book of General Ignorance I received for Christmas (did you know Dolphins don’t drink?)