UNIVERSAL (Hypebot) – The last year has been filled with announcement after announcement marking the end of DRM. DRM-free pioneer eMusic was thriving. EMI dropped DRM across its entire catalog. Indie after indie dropped. Universal launched and then expanded a DRM free "experiment" that now feels like permannt policy shift. Amazon launched a DRM free mp3 store to great reviews and customer reaction.
But in the last 6 weeks, almost nothing new…Neither Sony BMG nor the Warner Music Group are even hinting that they will be dropping DRM anytime soon.
Has the DRM free experiment failed?
The numbers are early and sketchy. Perhaps the holdouts are taking a wait and see attitude? But without universal adoption, you have confused consumers and digital providers uncertain which path to follow.
Every day that Sony BMG and WMG wait to start selling the same DRM free product that they already offer on CD available as downloads, is another day that consumer attitudes and habits become entrenched in a model that spells the end of the major labels. Going DRM free may not be the answer all of the label's woes, but it regains consumer trust and enables the innovation that could provide a path forward.