Wednesday, January 30, 2008

MIDEM 2008: Orange: DRM is hobbling our business

It's not just customers (or would-be customers) who get frustrated by DRM: it's a pain in the arse for retailers, too. At MIDEM, Orange music product development director Brenda O’Connell has told MocoNews that DRM has caused problems for the company's attempts to create downloads usable on PCs as well as mobiles:

“The DRM ecosystem on the mobile and on the PC is fundamentally different; getting them to talk together to create a seamless experience was a huge amount of work.”

And results have been “nothing to write home about”, she conceded: “It’s taken us two years to get this converged service to market, two years is far too long. We’re also very concerned about the fact that customers are really rejecting DRM. We want to launch not only a la carte services but subscription-based services, rental models. DRM is what’s holding us back at this point.”

Something to think about as you read music industry bosses raging at people who grab music where they can - after all this time, it's the industry's reluctance to trust people which is, reducing the legitimate options for downloads and ironically making theft more likely.

For all the talk about this MIDEM being a conference where the industry has embraced digital, when you listen to the people who are trying to work with the majors, it's clear they've not actually changed their position at all - just started realising they're going to have to. Ten years too late, and they're still dragging their feet.

Still, Orange retain some optimism:
Orange content services SVP Herve Payan: “If we don’t remove the DRM, we believe it will be slow growth. Ideally, we will have MP3. The majors are changing; we think in the next six months we will have it.”

But still another six months? And that's the optimistic view?

[Part of MIDEM 2008]


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