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EMI Says ITMS DRM-Free Music Selling Well 239

Posted by Zonk
from the people-like-choice dept.
An anonymous reader writes "'The initial results of DRM-free music are good' says Lauren Berkowitz, a senior vice president of EMI, at a music industry conference in New York. Berkowitz went on to say that the early results from iTunes indicate that DRM-free offerings may boost revenue from digital albums as well as individual songs."
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EMI Says ITMS DRM-Free Music Selling Well

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  • Shock! (Score:5, Funny)

    by thrills33ker (740062) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @01:48PM (#19597427) Homepage
    Who'd have thought that treating your customers with respect and giving them what they want would pay off?

    Amazing!
    • Re:Shock! (Score:5, Funny)

      by Harmonious Botch (921977) * on Thursday June 21, 2007 @01:49PM (#19597453) Homepage Journal
      Only in the long run.
    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      Sure, this is all well and good. But has anyone thought about the poor folks at the RIAA and MPAA who could get laid off by this sort of thing? Those are people with children to feed, mortgages to pay, elderly parents to support, etc. Won't someone please think of those poor souls?!?!?!
  • Isn't it ironic ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by for_usenet (550217) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @01:53PM (#19597507)
    that with 2 earlier articles - making DVD copying even more illegal (if that were at all possible), and a "desire" for a Canadian DMCA, that we "now just find out" people are willing to pay for DRM-free content. I did my part and paid for a couple of tracks that I bought with DRM and "upgraded" to the DRM-free version, and will continue to do so as more become available, and as content I want becomes available DRM-free. Let's really show them where we willing to spend our $. Seems to be the only thing they listen to ...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      Let's really show them where we willing to spend our $. Seems to be the only thing they listen to ...

      That's because everything else is bullshit. If you don't care enough to alter your spending habits, then you don't care.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Kjella (173770)
        But to vote with your wallet, you need someone to know what you're voting for. Have you ever wondered how sales predictions are made up? It's a wild assed guess. So if album A is released with DRM and flops and album B without DRM and is a chartbuster, it might have something to do with DRM. Or a million other things. Never mind the "not voting". This isn't the national election, they've no idea how many considered the album in the first place so you not buying go into a huge black box of "people that didn'
  • how about 'nix (Score:2, Insightful)

    by scharkalvin (72228)
    Well if they are willing to go drm-free, how about a site
    to buy their 'tunes if you are NOT running M$.
    We need an itunes for Linux.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      We need an itunes for Linux.

      No, all we need is an iTMS web store that doesn't require iTunes, which would be platform-agnostic and probably require very little work on Apple's part. It would only allow you to download unprotected music (if you don't have iTunes, then the DRM is ineffective) but that's what most of us would want anyway.

    • by Aqua OS X (458522)
      I don't know if eMusic is carrying the new EMI content, but I imagine they will in time.

      I respect the fact that you're sticking to your guns and avoiding a commercial operating system. That said, I don't think anyone is going to look down on you for, at the very least, virtualizing XP. Is the ideological battle really worth a hundred-something bucks and countless compatibility headaches?
      • by Hatta (162192)
        That's all well and good if you already own a copy of XP to virtualize. Not everyone does though.
    • by syrinx (106469)
      Well if they are willing to go drm-free, how about a site
      to buy their 'tunes if you are NOT running M$.


      Hm, I hadn't realized Apple had sold OS X to Microsoft. Must have missed the Slashdot story on that. (I shouldn't worry, it'll be duped soon!)
  • Of Course It Is..... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by queenb**ch (446380)
    Wow, you mean I can put music the same music on my laptop, desktop, MP3 player, and burn a CD to listen to in my car with out having buy the same song 4 times???

    Hmmm....this sounds a whole lot like Napster back in the day. Sheesh, it's only taken them six years to come up with a business model that works. Charging us for what we were doing on Napster anyway.

    QueenB.
  • Sad (Score:4, Interesting)

    by thesupermikey (220055) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @02:01PM (#19597635) Homepage Journal
    I had bought about 200 songs off iTMS in the 2 years i have been using it. Not a single song was from EMI.
    I don't know what that is important to this discussion, but if felt like sharing.

    • You're probably basing that on the fact that iTunes didn't ask you to upgrade any of your music, right? That doesn't necessarily mean it's not EMI.

      I don't know why there hasn't been more noise about it, but iTunes is apparently making only a tiny fraction of the most popular EMI music available through iTunes plus. For example, Ferry Corsten is an EMI artist, and most of the stuff he's released has been through EMI. Go try to download a non-DRM version of anything he's released. It's just not there. Certain
  • I have a soft spot for artists getting screwed by technology. Every technological advance seems to fall on artists particularly hard, so, while I really do hate the RIAA and the music industry and movie industry, I still think there might be a place so someone could show pictures of their work on the internet without having them stolen.

    My wife used to use Napster (pre-lawsuit), and Kazaa, but she switched to iTunes because iTunes was more convenient and not choked full of ads, and paying a $1 a song is not so bad. If you add the threat of RIAA letters, then, iTunes seems like a pretty good deal indeed. She also feels a need to support the artists.

    But really, the value of iTunes is the convenience and cleanliness, and there's no reason someone could not make a similar, ad-free thing but for file sharing writ large. Really, DRM free on iTunes is predicated on the fact that the recording industry must feel like it is getting some sort of handle on musical file sharing - that is, RIAA lawsuits to music downloaders must actually be working. Were there REALLY no DMCA or copyright controls on music, though, someone would eventually make something with a really cool user interface, like iTunes, but where music would be genuinely free.

    Then, musicians would starve.

    • I still think there might be a place so someone could show pictures of their work on the internet without having them stolen.

      The internet is a system that allows you to download content to your computer. Assuming by "stolen" you mean "put on someones computer and used as they see fit without the copyright holders permission," well, the whole internet is kind of designed to facilitate stealing. Sorry, but that's the nature of the beast.

      Were there REALLY no DMCA or copyright controls on music, though, someone would eventually make something with a really cool user interface, like iTunes, but where music would be genuinely free.

      Sounds like bittorrent, limewire or any open source file sharing system. The reason that iTunes works is because people often want to do the right thing; it has nothing to do with the DMCA or copy

    • But really, the value of iTunes is the convenience and cleanliness, and there's no reason someone could not make a similar, ad-free thing but for file sharing writ large.

      No, there isn't, except for the fact that it would require a fairly large investment, it would meaning risking a lawsuit from the RIAA, and unless you fill it with ads there's no profit in it. Who's going to do that?

      Personally, I think iTunes (DRM-less) is the exact right model for legal online music sales. The interface is clean, the s

    • DRM on itunes probably only deters casual file sharing with friends. The songs downloaded off the internet that RIAA is going after probably were just ripped off CDs. DRM on itunes is irrelevant to wide scale downloading.
    • Then, musicians would starve.

      What would prevent them from making live shows? Like, you know, all musicians during the whole human history always did? Have they all starved, per any chance? Or what you actually mean is that current musicians would lose the ability (that their predecessors never had) to work once and, if lucky, profit forever? Because this is not what "work" is supposed to be, and it surely doesn't apply to most of humanity.

      Give me a way to do my work once, doesn't matter what it is, and live

      • >>Give me a way to do my work once, doesn't matter what it is, and live from it until I'm dead, and I'll think it's fair for musicians to have the same privilege. Otherwise, forget it. It's simply fair that they work everyday, as everyone else does, by doing whatever they're good at, as everyone else also does.

        In Soviet Russia...

      • What would prevent them from making live shows? Like, you know, all musicians during the whole human history always did?

        According to Google, 99.48% of musicians that have performed live shows are now dead. That's a pretty high mortality rate.
    • by Kamots (321174)
      I think Jonathon Coulton would be happy to contest your point of view.

      But then he's making a living from his music. His music that he sells as DRM-less mp3s... that he releases under the Creative Commons license...

      Strangely, despite it being perfectly legal for me to give his music away to the world, or for you to download it from whichever file sharing app you want... in other words... despite him making his music available for free... he's making a living.
    • Not true.

      Copying CDs has been pretty easy for a long time now... but musicians haven't starved.

      Copying copyrighted music has always been illegal... the DMCA didn't make it "more illegal" or whatever.

      Some (I would argue most) people really do like to follow the law, even when it's easy not too... those people will always continue to buy the music they want to hear. Not too mention that some of us feel _good_ about buying cds because we like to support artists that we enjoy (even if most of the money doesn't
    • You mean like http://www.emusic.com/ [emusic.com]? Funny, I've been buying DRM-free music from those "starving artists" since way back, and they seem to be doing perfectly fine as is.
    • Were there REALLY no DMCA or copyright controls on music, though, someone would eventually make something with a really cool user interface, like iTunes, but where music would be genuinely free.

      They already have. It's called Oink.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 21, 2007 @02:03PM (#19597669)
    I know I'm in the minority here, but I actually prefer DRM music. DRM adds a certain ineffable flavor to otherwise bland music. It's like a sprinkle of cinammon on hot chocolate. The bass sounds more meaty and the singers sound just a little more angelic and bird-like.

    I know, I know, I'm a bit of an audiophiliac. I don't want to sound too pretentious. But give it a try! You'll see. Music just sounds better with DRM.

    yours truly,
    David Massey

  • by SlashdotOgre (739181) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @02:05PM (#19597697) Journal
    The more significant figures would be whether the amount of EMI music being passed on peer to peer services has changed. I highly doubt it has increased more than its usual variance (it may even have decreased), and I hope the other RIAA companies notice this. I'm of the opinion that there's roughly a fixed number of people who would pirate regardless, and distributing music without DRM won't change this. However making music harder to listen due to DRM might actually drive piracy numbers up.
  • Hmmmm... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PlasticMonkey (863080) <plasticmonkey@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Thursday June 21, 2007 @02:08PM (#19597741)
    Somehow, I think EMI knew that selling DRM-free tracks would make a profit all along.

    1. Release DRM-laden, horrific quality tracks
    2. Watch consumers buy tracks
    3. Wait for consumers to grow angry and realize the restrictions placed on their media
    4. Release DRM-free, slightly better tracks
    5. Wait for the consumers to REBUY or 'upgrade' all their tracks
    6. ???
    7. Profit!!

    THEN the second round

    8. Release slightly better quality tracks...
    9. Wait for the consumers to REBUY or 'upgrade' all their tracks...
    • by Goaway (82658)
      Your step 8 was already included in step 4. Also, there was no REBUY, just 'upgrade'.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by QuantumRiff (120817)
      which is much different from physical CD's where you have the album, the Greatest Hits CD, the Live CD..

      Or for Films where you have the DVD, the Unrated Edition DVD, the Directors Cut DVD, The "the microphone guy didn't like the way this scene looked so here is another copy of the DVD for you to buy" DVD, etc

      Or even software for example.. Buy Vista home basic, Upgrade it online to Vista Home premium, then upgrade to Ultimate Edition (with a whole other path for business users to do the same!)
    • Your steps make no sense - because after you upgrade a track, EMI has just as much money as if you had bought the DRM free version in the first place!

      It what world is it more beneficial for EMI to get a partial payment now, and then HOPE that maybe they might get a little more later, instead of just collecting the same amount upfront?
    • by dr.badass (25287)
      3. Wait for consumers to grow angry and realize the restrictions placed on their media

      Given iTunes sales previous sales figures, I think we're still waiting for this step to happen.
  • I wish (Score:4, Insightful)

    by niceone (992278) * on Thursday June 21, 2007 @02:48PM (#19598303) Journal
    I wish apple would offer this option to indie musicians (like me), I'd sign up for straight away.

    (strictly speaking they'd have to offer it to the the aggregators like tunecore that people like me use)
    • They will (Score:3, Informative)

      by SuperKendall (25149)
      They are slowly expanding the set of DRM free songs, and have said they will allow anyone that wants to use this to do so - contact them.

      I didn't have any songs that were DRM free at launch of iTunes+, but just recently two came up as upgradeable.
  • by metamatic (202216) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @03:25PM (#19598815) Homepage Journal
    This is the single biggest, highest profile way we can get the message to the industry that DRM doesn't pay.

    So please, find a Mac or Windows box if you have to, but go buy something from the iTunes music store. Even if it's just one album and you then shunt the AAC files back to Linux to listen to.

    Personally, I recommend something from the Mute back-catalog.

    (And yes, I've bought 2 albums so far, I plan to keep buying preferentially from iTMS at least until the other labels get the message.)

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