I’ll Bet He’s Wrong About That (continued)

Wow. The end of DRM is coming quicker than even I thought it would. Last fall I said on this blog that at least one major label would sell music in unprotected mp3 format within two years.

A couple weeks ago I posted that there were rumors flying at Midem (the big music conference) that at least one major music label was going to sell music in mp3 format.

I thought the reason the labels were going to do this was to get out of the grip that iTunes has on digital music distribution. If you buy a song with iTunes DRM (called fairplay) on it, you can’t play it on any other digital music device. That has given iTunes a near monopoly on the sale of digital music. The only other music store that has any real share is eMusic which sells in mp3 format so their music can be played on an iPod.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Steve Jobs, the person who showed the labels how to sell music successfully online, has come out in favor of dropping DRM and selling in unprotected mp3 format. That’s awesome and I would have never expected that to happen. When Apple is willing to give up a huge competitive advantage in recognition of the issues that DRM is causing its customers, well that has to get everyone’s attention. It sure got mine.

Update: Here is Jobs’ letter to the music industry.