Feeds

For Real, DRM no cure for music biz blues

Fine for subs, bad for downloads

Next gen security for virtualised 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

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?