Clash, Pink Floyd manager: ‘DRM is dead’

“Few people know the music industry better than Peter Jenner. Pink Floyd’s first manager, who subsequently managed Syd Barrett’s solo career, Jenner has also looked after T.Rex, The Clash, Ian Dury, Disposable Heroes and Billy Bragg – who he manages today. He’s also secretary general of the International Music Managers Forum,” Andrew Orlowski reports for The Register. “And he doesn’t pull his punches.”

Orlowski reports, The major four music labels today are “f*cked”, he says. Digital music pricing has been a scam where the consumer pays for manufacturing, distribution, and does all the work – and still has to pay more. Labels should outsource everything except finance and licensing.”

“But he’s also optimistic that for almost everyone else – indie labels, musicians, songwriters and budding entrepreneurs – as well as network providers – the future’s going to be pretty bright. The Big Four know that the DRM era is nearly over – and within two or three years, he predicts, “most countries” in the world will have a blanket licensing regime where we exchange music freely, for a couple of quid a month,” Orlowski reports.

Full interview here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Alden S.” for the heads up.]


  1. Shhhhheeesssshhhh!!!

    I upload my CDs, rip, burn and truck on. What DRM?? Apple has made it so easy that except for the fanatics, no one cares. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />


  2. He might be right, personally I’m willing to put up with the Apple DRM in order that I can get hold of the odd single song here and there which I wouldn’t be able to do with physical media without paying for an entire album. Sure I wish songs were cheaper but I don’t see iTunes songs as being overly expensive – althouh how that money is broken down could be deemed a rip-off.

  3. old guy talks about technology. who’s gonna follow? he is just wrong. subscription is not the future. exchange music freely? so musicians will be hard to pay back for their effort? just bullshit. it doesn’t matter he is Pink Floyd manager or not. it’s technology, not talked about music.

  4. I thought the only reason iTunes has DRM is to placate the big labels. Would it be better for Apple if iTunes content was completely open, being that Apple only keeps a small fraction of the revenue, and even smaller fraction of the profit.

    Would iPod sales still stay steady? I would think so, unless a competitor were to release a truely compelling product that matches or exceeds the iPod in quality, simplicity and appeal.

    It’s been 2 years now that the iPod has been hip. That’s the long end of the life cycle of a fad. Yet the iPods popularity has shown no waning.

    Dropping DRM may prove even more profitable for Apple and other distributors. I may also allow for more feirce competition, or the complete death of other distribution services.

  5. @KP, Lazy Europeen and edward

    He’s not talking about subscriptions to a music service, he’s alluding to a blanket charge (tax if you will) that you pay like your income taxes that will allow distribuion of music freely. No more DRM period.

    MD Word: Try – as in try to keep up ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  6. He’s talking about socialism. EVERYONE pays the gov’t a monthly fee and gets access to music, even if you don’t listen to any. Musicians get paid from this vast pool of money, whether they are good or not, popular, or not. And everyone lives in a happy utopia, or not.

  7. I think Apple will go for a subscription based model with iTunes.

    Wouldn’t it be great if you have your Apple iTV connected to the internet and you can listen to all songs and watch all series in iTMS for a monthly fee. In the same way you can watch trailers within Frontrow.

    Subscription didn’t work, in this way it will. Because you have all your stuff exactly where you want it. You can watch movies on your TV, you can hook up your iTV to your stereo, or use Airport Express instead.

    MW: Brown, would a brown iPod be cool?

  8. So, help me understand how this would work. How does this system actually compensate people who produce music people like or want to listen to. How does it differentiate between a person who, for say lack of talent, produces music that no one really likes or wants to listen to, from someone that produces music that is very popular and many people listen to? Do they both get paid the same amount? How does this work? With song or album sales you have a built in way of keeping track or rewarding those who produce something people want – with a flat tax/fee on everyone to allow the free exchange of music – who decides how that tax/fee is apportioned?

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