[LINK] Musicload: 75% of customer service problems caused by DRM
Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Tue Mar 20 19:18:27 AEDT 2007
Musicload: 75% of customer service problems caused by DRM
By Ken Fisher | Published: March 18, 2007 - 05:39PM CT
Deutsche Telekom's Musicload, one of the largest online music stores
in Europe, has come out strongly against DRM on account of its
effects on the marketplace and its customers, according to
German-language Heise Online.
Musicload said in a letter distributed last week that customers are
having consistent problems with DRM, so much so that 3 out of 4
customer service calls are ultimately the result of the frustrations
that come with DRM. In a business where the major music labels expect
to be paid well for their source material, the costs of supporting
DRM are borne entirely by the music retailers. If the labels' love
affair with DRM is hurting the companies trying to make a go at
selling music online, something is horribly wrong.
According to Musicload, DRM "makes the use of music quite difficult
and hinders the development of a mass-market for legal downloads."
The lack of interoperability is unfair to customers and prevents true
competition between music services, in other words.
Musicload itself is in heated competition in Germany with Apple's
iTunes Store. Apple's Steve Jobs has come out against DRM as well,
although his iTunes Store does not offer DRM-free music despite the
fact that many artists have requested it. A new upstart in the online
music sales business, Aime Street, has inked deals with a number of
top artists to do what Apple thus far has been unwilling to do, while
eMusic has seen moderate success selling DRM-free music from
independent labels for quite some time now.
Musicload has also tried to differentiate itself by allowing
independent music labels to sell their music on the service sans DRM,
and the move has reportedly been a success. Championing the "Comeback
of MP3," Musicload said that artists choosing to drop DRM saw a 40
percent increase in sales since December, and that more artists and
labels are showing interest. The company hopes that DRM-free MP3s
make a comeback, though there have been few signs that the major
labels are interested. EMI has been toying with the idea, but the
company expects resellers like Musicload, Apple and others to carry
the supposed "risk" by paying increased fees upfront.
Roger Clarke http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/
Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd 78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au http://www.xamax.com.au/
Visiting Professor in Info Science & Eng Australian National University
Visiting Professor in the eCommerce Program University of Hong Kong
Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre Uni of NSW
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