Just a week ago the internet exploded with talk about the open letter Steve Jobs wrote, supporting DRM-free digital downloads. Clearly this is the way most consumers would like to see things go, as the debates over this technology have been bitter to say the least. Jobs’ opinion is that DRM is holding sales back and were it to be removed, would only help music sales flourish.
Well the USA Today reports that music label, EMI, is in talks to sell music under its label to online music stores, free of copy protection. Analysts project a 15%-20% increase in sales for DRM-free music, which EMI seems to understand is the way to go, moving into the future.
So is Jobs the catalyst? Is he a digital prophet? Or is it just another example of impeccable timing out of Cupertino? My opinion is that it’s a bit of all three. Clearly Steve Jobs can move mountains, or at least persuade people to do it for him, so I can see where his words could stir this kind of action. His foresight into many things technology and business-based has brought Apple Inc back from the grave and made it stronger than ever. And obviously, with the popular iTunes Store, perhaps these talks with the likes of EMI were already under-way, and his Memo was a way of breaking the ice for this news.
Regardless of Jobs’ role in these things, the tide is now turning. And apparently quite rapidly.