DRM-free music sales may boost iPod sales | iLounge News


DRM-free music sales may boost iPod sales

In spite of the apparent threat the proliferation of DRM-free music sales may pose to Apple’s iTunes+iPod ecosystem, expanded sales of device-agnostic MP3s may actually boost iPod sales, according to an LA Times article. This is due to the fact that while Apple does see a small profit from the sale of music on iTunes, it sees a much larger profit from the sale of iPods. “Certainly the ability to buy music in more places helps Apple,” Pali Research analyst Richard Greenfield said. “They make very little money on iTunes transactions, and they make a good amount of money on iPod transactions.” The article argues that the expansion of the digital music market should mean increased demand for digital music players, a category which the iPod dominates. “ITunes was developed to promote iPod hardware sales,” said Susan Kevorkian, an analyst at research firm IDC. “The introduction of services that offer digital music to the installed base of iPod users will help drive more iPod sales.”

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This reminds me of a few years ago when RealNetworks introduced their Harmony technology that allowed tracks purchased from the RealPlayer Music Store to be transferred to iPods without any loss of quality (RealAudio 10 files are AAC).  True, they had to do some reverse-engineering to make it happen, but in the end it made the iPod more compatible which may be the reason why Apple never really did anything about it.  When did I buy my first iPod?  You guessed it, when Harmony was introduced and I could transfer my 200 tracks to my shiny new iPod.

Posted by Galley on August 22, 2007 at 1:27 PM (CDT)


Hey, that’s great.  RealPlayer actually has a customer!

Posted by dasmb on August 23, 2007 at 12:07 PM (CDT)


I couldn’t care less how this impacts ipod sales.  The important thing is that the industry is finally realizing that all current implementations of DRM suck.  Yey for DRM-free media!

Posted by Chahk on August 23, 2007 at 3:24 PM (CDT)

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