Blog Post

Analyst: Pricing, DRM Hampering UK Download Market

No sooner did I click save on the earlier post on download pricing than I came across another take from the UK, where a key analyst says high prices and DRM incompatibility are holding down acceptance rates for online downloads. IDC senior research analyst Jason Armitage blames the record labels with no mincing of words. He wants them to pas along the savings from lower distribution costs to customers in the form of lower prices. Album prices are starting to move and are running about 30-45 percent cheaper than CDs, according to excepts from the note at Silicon.com. Price isn’t the only issue — Armitage faults the user experience, too. “Services are improving but buying music online can be an experience devoid of the pleasures of the record store. Problems in playing back tracks on portable audio players escalate, as users discover downloaded tracks are not compatible with their devices. For customers choosing which songs to download, the logic that leads to price discrepancies between newly released tracks can be bewildering.” Interoperability is a long-term problem and the wealth of alternatives for listening to music only adds to the nascent market’s problems.