I think everyone knows about this already. And if youd don’t then google fof iTunes and EMI and get yourself up to date. I’m to lazy at the moment to find you a link. When I first head about it I thought it was awesome, but now I noticed that some people have second thoughts about it.
For esample, some people were complaining about the price increase on the non DRM music. They feet that Apple compromised their pricing scheme by bowing to entertainment industry pressure. Now that EMI demonstrated that Apple is not as intractable in their pricing policies as previously thought, they will face much more pressure from the labels.
I understand why they increse the price – it gives the music industry an incentive to license DRM free music to iTunes store. But by brokering the deal they have shown they are willing to change their policy if “the price is right”. This might convince some major labels do do very aggressive negotiations with Apple to get the same deal as EMI, but without removing DRM.
Another concern I is that Apple set up this DRM-free scheme in such a way, that it will fail after a few months. Then Apple can scrap it, and make a nice PR speach about how their bold experiment did not make sufficient sales, and how public is not ready for a DRM free music yet. In the end you get a huge PR boost for EMI for showing the good will, and Steve Jobs can both deliver on his promisse of DRM free music, and then take it away without loosing face and popular backing.
If I remember correctly the DRM-Free music is not distributed as mp3 files, but some other funky, less popular format. So most people who excusively use iTunes for listening to their music will see no difference between the DRM and non-DRM files other than the price.
Can you see the pattern here? Apple and EMI are scoring goodwil points with geeks and audiophiles but most of the iTunes shopping public this new development won’t mean anything. They probably won’t even know that the more expensive files can be played outside of iTunes or burned to CD’s because they are so used to the vendor lock in right now.
Of course there are many benefits to this. There is a chance that this service will be a success, and more labels will jump on the bandwagon. There is a chance that iTunes will do for music what Gmail did for email. Before google decided to give everyone 2 Gigs of email storage for free, you couldn’t get more than 20 MB from a free provider. Now everyone offers you gigs of space. Could iTunes make simillar shift happen in music? Once people find out that you can get cheep burnable music from Apple, they will start flocking to iTunes in droves.
So what do you think? Is it a good thing for online music sales, or is it a clever PR move to kill two birds with one stone: attempt to sell DRM free music, fail at it, and kill the idea forever? Or does it make no difference whatsoever?
[tags]drm, itunes, emi, copyright, copyfight[/tags]