Will Ditching DRM Ding Apple?

Discussion in 'MacBytes.com News Discussion' started by MacBytes, Jan 5, 2008.

  1. MacBytes macrumors bot

    Jul 5, 2003
  2. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    So the labels are going to punish iTunes for not raising prices and tightening DRM by lowering prices and removing DRM. This will clearly hurt Apple by making even more content available for the iPod. Obviously, the way to triumph would be to set up a site where music is free. They could call it something catchy like Napster or Kazaa.
  3. tk421 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 7, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Wouldn't that also make more content available for the iPod? :rolleyes: It would also remove any income from the labels and (much more importantly) the artists, unless you have other ideas.
  4. Carl Spackler macrumors 6502

    Carl Spackler

    Apr 12, 2005
    Outer Space
    did that just happen?
  5. sebastianlewis macrumors regular

    Jan 2, 2007
    San Francisco
    So does it matter? Amazon MP3s will work just fine on iPods. Personally I don't want to set up an Amazon account so I'll stick with iTunes, but as long as there's more music to stick on your iPod it doesn't matter who's selling it, unlike a few years ago before the iPod where Sony and Microsoft were fighting it out for who had the most obtrusive and restrictive DRM.

  6. macnulty macrumors 6502

    May 18, 2003
    Rehoboth Beach, De
    I think dropping DRM is great for Apple, with 85% or there abouts of the digital player market being able to supply music easily from any source just makes the iPod that much more appealing. Afterall Apple makes money from the iPod, not iTunes.
  7. winmacguy macrumors 68020


    Nov 8, 2003
    New Zealand
    I don't see how it can hurt Apple. Steve never wanted to DRM the music from the iTunes store in the first place. He only did it when the big 4 music companies forced Apple to in order to get the concept of the ground.
  8. BenRoethig macrumors 68030


    Jul 17, 2002
    Dubuque, Iowa
    I think he wanted it. It gave him control when the market wasn't firmly established. Now going DRM free (albeit in a very limited selection) gives him serious PR points
  9. CalCanuck macrumors member


    Jun 14, 2006
    Silicon Valley
    Universal Music Store

    Apple's DRM doesn't bother me that much, there are way's around it if I should need it without DRM. What does is not being able to buy the song I want because it's only available in the UK store or some other country -- why can't we have just one store with all the music available to everyone no matter where you live.

    Again, this isn't Apple's fault it's the silly recording industry and their archaic licensing policies. They're hurting themselves and the artists by not making all that content available -- and they wonder why people steal music!
  10. shadowfax macrumors 603


    Sep 6, 2002
    Houston, TX
    I dunno. I think it was a power play. It DRM iTMS was useful to help get the iPod solidified as THE digital music player in the short term--maybe. More likely the store rode the success of the iPod brand. At any rate, it created a new market for digital music, crushing all its competitors because iTMS music doesn't work with anything but iPods, and DRM from all other online music stores is incompatible. This is forcing the industry to drop DRM altogether in order to compete.

    I think it was Apple's plan all the time--I think they wanted DRM in the short term to get rid of it in the long term. I hope so, anyway. In any case, whether it was intentional or not, that play was AMAZINGLY good for consumers. Apple has no real reason to care about iTMS. It doesn't make them much money. It's just a great lever to make the stupid giant that is the record industry do something right for a change. Hopefully in a year or so Amazon's store will provide it with some real competition, then some other stores will pop up DRM Free, and then eventually the labels will lift their Apple embargo and iTunes will go 100% iTunes+.
  11. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    Does anyone honestly think the big music labels would ever have gotten started in digital downloads without DRM?

    The iPod was a success BEFORE the iTunes Music Store. DRM was not Apple's idea, it was something the music labels insisted upon or they would not play. And even so they could barely be convinced to go ahead. Apple did at least convince them to loosen the terms of the DRM.

    Only with the passage of time--and with the successful iTunes Plus experiment to lead the way--are the labels willing to remove DRM.

    And the labels are afraid of Apple even more than they are afraid of customers. If DRM-free is something they can give to others and take from Apple, then they will.

    This will not do much to harm Apple, though. iTunes will remain a leading store (probably THE leading store) but what really matters is all the new iPod-friendly stores--NOT using Microsoft DRM--which helps Apple far more than any other player maker.
  12. Flail macrumors newbie


    Sep 8, 2007
    Sarasota, FL
    Labels love/hate Apple

    I would think the music industries don't have a problem with Apple the iPod manufacturer, just Apple the music vendor. This is why they are giving up on DRM. If most portable music players are iPods and the apparent trend is that it is going to remain that way, the labels will want their music on them. If they stick with the DRM business model, that means they have to stick with Apple the music vendor. However, if they drop DRM and their music is available in tons of online stores, that not only gives them pricing leverage with iTunes but also guarantees iPod owners have access to their music for purchase.

    Having all these different DRMs is like if there were CDs that would only play in certain CD players 15 years ago. Or like having two different video cassette (or High Definition disc) formats. It's just limiting the availability of their product. The content should be standard and let the best delivery method and user experience win.
  13. winmacguy macrumors 68020


    Nov 8, 2003
    New Zealand
    Correct. Considering how many people originally bought iPods and didn't use the store at all to get their music, much of it coming from ripped CDs.

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