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August 16, 2005

Why DRM Will Kill Mobile Music

MobHappy: [by James Pearce] Carlo Longini has put up a post detailing why he thinks DRM will hamper the mobile music market. It's a good read which outlines the problems the major record labels are creating for the music industry while blaming everyone else, and the contradiction in their approach of applying DRM to music and then telling customers how to get around it...
"How this all affects mobile is that there will be a huge tide of MP3 players from a number of different vendors coming into the market, in the form of music-enabled phones. So what's going to happen when you've got all these different phones being billed by carriers as iPod killers or replacements and people come to find out their music won't play on them, or they can only listen to music that's been bought from one specific store or service? They're going to get pissed off, that's what's going to happen. They won't buy music that's tied to a specific device or has onerous limitations on what they can do with it -- which will probably rule out any carrier's download store from being a success."
Of course, that depends on what he means by 'success'. There are a number of mobile music stores around the world that sell DRM-protected music that are doing quite well, for example KDDI selling 10 million tracks. These stores offer a way to obtain and retain customers and provide a nice little bit of revenue growth into the bargain. But I doubt they will see the kind of sales the music industry is looking for to replace the downturn in CD sale growth.
Related stories:
--Music Mavens Change Tune
--Interview: Problems And Predictions Of Mobile Music
--Digital Music Boom In Asia

Posted by Rafat Ali in DRM, Mobile Music | Permalink


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