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
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)