But what is interesting is the recent shift of all the major MP3 vendors, such as iTunes and Napster and eMusic to DRM-free MP3s. And with the shift of some of the popular bands like Radiohead starting to drift away from the huge management/production companies and offering their products directly to the consumer, I think we’ve only seen the beginning.
Video is in a similar predicament, though we’re pretty early in that cycle. If you look at Amazon’s Unbox service, which I use, I think it’s pretty cool. Some of the major networks are moving away from the iTunes model and going towards other vendors or even rolling their own. I know NBC has their own shows on their website.
Here’s an example of Amazon’s Unbox service: here
So if you’re marketing MP3s as part of your service, I think DRM-free is the way to go. iTunes philosophy of Apple or nothing has started working against them. As a non-iPod MP3 player owner (I have a Sansa), I have struggled with iTunes as a consumer. You have a great selection there, but you’re limited to using it on an Apple MP3 player unless you can find a way to manipulate the files to get them in a simple MP3 format.The MP3 market is great for individual websites and business owners if you’re affiliated with one of the larger markets. I think Amazon has a great model. It’ll just be interesting to see how things shake out to see how the DRM backlash continues.
Until next time…