Universal Music, DRM-free rumors

Since Steve Jobs posted his open letter in February this year, calling for the abolition of DRM protected music, there has been several changes in the recording industry. EMI have taken the plunge and released their music on iTunes at a higher quality and higher price — all DRM free.

Last month, in an article in Forbes entitled “Why Online Music Will Stay Locked Up” it was noted that Universal Music Group, had been mulling the possibility of dropping usage restrictions, according to Amanda Marks, Universal’s executive vice president and general manager of digital distribution.

“It is a step that we would not take lightly,” Marks said, adding that “if further tests prove that this provides us with a net positive sales result, by which I mean sales increase more than piracy, then we will try to work out a reasonable solution.”

Just this week Digital Music News reported that Universal Music Group is now actively discussing a possible DRM-free play with Apple.

Between them, Universal and EMI have nearly 50% of the recording industry market share in music purchases. If Universal takes the plunge, it’s my bet that we’ll see the other 2 major labels, Sony BMG and Warner, quickly follow suit.

Wouldn’t it be great to be totally rid of DRM protected music this year. As a consumer, just to have full music interoperability between my different computers and music players, will open my wallet to purchase more online music. As the CEO of Avvenu, where we offer the ability to stream your iTunes music over the internet to another computer or a windows mobile phone, I’ll be happier when we can provide an even better listening experience for our users.

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