COMMENTARY: Pundits like Jupiter's David Card and blogger Bob Lefsetz want to be sure that we knowthat Universal and others dropping DRM (see story) won't save the recorded music industry. They're right of course, but they miss the point.
Two things will save the "record biz" and going DRM free empowers them both.
First, the industry must restore consumer confidence. There is nothing more frustrating and confusing than having the music people purchase be locked up and incompatible. Blame the original Napster. Blame Apple. Blame the labels. Consumers don't care. If we want them to pay for music then it damnwell better be accessible whenever, wherever and on whatever device they choose. DRM free makes that possible.
The second key to any industry turnaround is experimentation. DRM free makes the creation of new products and services that enrich the consumer music experience possible. And designers and manufactures know that what they produce will not be locked out of the iTunes eco-system or kept from any other device or service that has not even been imagined yet.
Bold moves by Universal, EMI Rhapsody, Amazon and others may or may not in themselves save the new music industry, but they enable those who can.