“Apple’s forthcoming DRM-free music deal with EMI raises a simple question: What should Microsoft do to steal some music marketing thunder from iPod and iTunes? The EMI deal is probably something Microsoft could have announced, too. But Microsoft has DRM [digital rights management] on the brain, so to speak, as evidenced by anti-piracy mechanisms in Vista, Xbox and Zune,” Joe Wilcox writes for Microsoft-Watch.
“With the release of Windows Media 9, Microsoft made a huge bet on DRM. No question, Windows Media 9 delivered highly flexible rights management that could be used for lots of interesting marketing purposes, such as a label releasing a new album with, say, three free plays,” Wilcox writes. “But Microsoft’s bet hasn’t paid off in the market, even with so many music stores using Windows Media DRM. Apple did DRM better, by largely hiding it from music purchasers, and by making fairly easy the synchronization of DRM content with iPod. Microsoft played catch up on synchronization until the November release of Zune.”
Wilcox writes, “But Zune is heavily beholden to DRM. Music sharing—Zune’s big differentiator from iPod—requires encryption of transmitted tunes, even stuff that has no DRM. So, Zune applies rights management where it wasn’t before. Additionally, some label’s rights restrictions prevent users from sharing some music purchased from the Zune Marketplace.”
“If Microsoft is going to push ahead with a heavy DRM strategy, maybe it’s time to change the game plan. As Gartenberg’s colleague David Card writes in another blog post on the Apple-EMI deal, ‘DRM should unlock new business models, not attempt to lock down 20th century ones.’ He gives good advice,” Wilcox writes.
Full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “LinuxGuy and Mac Prodigal Son” for the heads up.]
Good job as usual, Apple, but really now, how hard is it to outmaneuver the Titanic? We have no doubt that Steve Ballmer is out on deck rearranging the chairs again today.
How to restore DRM to iTunes Store’s DRM-free EMI tracks: Squirt it from one Zune to another (if you can find one).
If you don’t find that funny, you probably work for Microsoft.
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