Feeds

For Real, DRM no cure for music biz blues

Fine for subs, bad for downloads

Security for virtualized datacentres

MidemNet Real Networks' CEO Rob Glaser summed up the music business' ambivalence towards DRM this weekend, and said digital music needed the shackles taken off.

Glaser predicted that the first year of DRM-free downloads would be the first year digital overtook physical. And only with DRM-free music would customers get the flexibility they deserved, he added.

"We need to move to a trust model," he said.

Glaser said he expected a "transactional watermark" to supersede DRM within "one to five years".

He still said DRM had a place on subscription services, such as...Real's Rhapsody service.

To get access to a "jukebox in the sky" said Glaser, DRM was reasonable, otherwise people would just pocket the jukebox and never come back.

But then he would say that, wouldn't he?

The tepid adoption of "legal" downloads hasn't matched the fall in physical sales. Illegal downloads still outnumber legals by 40 to 1, according to the big label representatives, although insiders put the figure as high as 100 to 1.

As an indication of how insignificant digital downloads really are to the music business today, Apple's four year slog with its iTunes store has grossed it less than $2bn.

Now check out Steve Gordon's report on the battle over ringtones royalties. Ringtones generated $6.6bn last year of which the labels keep between 20 and 40 per cent, and publishers another 10 per cent. In other words, ringtones in one year alone generated around 150 per cent more than iTunes has managed in four.

No wonder it's so hard to find anyone who thinks this model is the future of music. It probably isn't even the future of iTunes. ®

More stories from MidemNet:

Indies unite to challenge Big Four digital deals

Universal exec - say goodbye to the old record co.

RIAA talks flat fees, and how they turned the French

Microsoft wants Wi-Fi 'filling stations' for Zune II

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links
Not even Google can withstand the power of Auntie
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register
You'll Read These And LOL Even Though They're Serious
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.