DRM-free music is supported by consumers
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A new survey regarding music online conducted by Entertainment Media Research in association with the law firm Olswang showed that the DRM (Digital Rights Management) related problems are more present in UK consumers' opinion than the music industry initially thought.
The survey was made on more than 1,700 respondents, a sample drawn from Entertainment Media Research's UK panel of 300,000 music consumers. The survey was performed in June 2007.
It shows that the number of people that have never heard about DRM dropped from 50% to 37% in just one year. Moreover, the number of respondents that claimed to have a good or exact knowledge of DRM almost tripled in the past year.
Regarding the DRM-related questions the report underlines that DRM is an increasingly hot topic for consumers, with 68% of respondents who expressed the opinion that downloads are "Only worth purchasing if free of DRM." Also, more people would prefer to pay a little extra for tracks free of DRM than to pay the standard price and have restrictions.
The survey confirms the bad reputation of DRM within the UK consumers and triggers some significant question marks for the music industry, at a time when, according to the same survey, unauthorized downloading increased across every single demographic category measured. Within the same timeframe the legal downloading was still growing at a substantial pace (15%), but less than it was expected.
Under the circumstances, it is not surprising that the biggest music labels are trying to cope with the new situation. Universal Music announced in August 2007 that it would sell thousands of albums and tracks available in MP3-format without a DRM protection. "The experiment will run from August to January and analyse such factors as consumer demand, price sensitivity and piracy in regards to the availability of open MP3s." The music, including tracks of 50 Cent, the Black Eyed Peas or Amy Winehouse, will be sold through Google, Wal-Mart, and Amazon.com, but not through iTunes.
Survey says: only DRM-free music is worth paying for ( 5.08.2007)
The 2007 Digital Music Survey (07.2007)
Universal sells songs without DRM (10.08.2007)
EDRI-gram: Is DRM fading out? (17.01.2007)