Sometimes it's great to be proved wrong. Until recently, it appeared Apple was an evil mastermind, assembling a practical monopoly on the digital music market, forcing media companies to kneel before it to get access to iPod-toting consumers and locking consumers into its technology.
No more DRM
Photo by Don Feria
Then comes CEO Steve Jobs last week offering to give up that stronghold, challenging media companies to sell digital music and movies without digital rights management. In an open letter, he says what critics have for years: DRM doesn't stop piracy and punishes legitimate buyers. Jobs says Apple uses DRM because the four major music companies insist; it would go DRM-free "in a heartbeat."
Why might music labels buy Jobs' pitch? Because CD sales are falling, and digital sales aren't picking up the slack. JupiterResearch predicts total music sales will shrink 9% by 2011. Setting music free won't solve all the industry's problems. But it'll help.
The Business of Going DigitalDigital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.