Amazon, Pepsi and Wal-Mart with anti-DRM campaigns

Amazon, Pepsi and Wal-Mart with anti-DRM campaigns

The digital protection of music bought online ( DRM ) has faced a growing number of critics just this year. In addition to the media pressure that this puts on the music industry, there is now increasingly an industrial blockade.

Various corporations have long since discovered the possibilities of DRM-free media offers that affect paying customers due to the fact that they are no longer available Barriers can appear much more attractive than the conventional offer. One of the most prominent examples of this is the major label EMI , which freed a large part of its portfolio from DRM in a snap action and thus does quite well . This summer followed with Universal , the second of four majors and made part of its offer accessible, so that now only Sony BMG and Warner rely on digitally protected material.

With all supporters who have seen the end of DRM for some time now, new, at first glance somewhat unusual DRM opponents could cause new cheers. According to a report by the US magazine Billboard, Wal-Mart as well as Amazon and Pepsi want to steer towards a DRM-free offer in the future, which as exploiters must represent the DRM policy of the major labels towards the customer>

According to this, Wal-Mart, for example, which has had its own portfolio of DRM-free music for some time, is included in the In the next few weeks, remove all DRM-protected titles from his online shop, provided that they are not also available as MP3 - in order to only be able to offer his customers freely accessible material from now on. That this process will leave the remaining DRM advocates indifferent due to Wal-Mart's weak market position in the online music segment (around two percent) can only be seen at first glance. Behind the facade, it can be assumed, means the step ofRetail giants, through which, for example, a good 22 percent of US CD sales run, a serious problem for the majors, as they are reluctant to mess with such a sales machine.

There are other disruptions from the DRM front the online mail order company Amazon and the Coke rival Pepsi, who want to draw attention to themselves in a large-scale campaign - and without DRM. Accordingly, the two companies are planning to distribute a billion songs over the Internet to Americans as part of the said campaign. In addition, you get a free song download from Amazon for five cover codes - DRM-free and in MP3 format, as you have been used to at Amazon since the summer of this year . The campaign is to start for the 2008 Superbowl, ie from February next year.

It remains to be seen whether Pepsi and Amazon will actually succeed in breaking the billion mark. Nevertheless, both examples show that it is precisely the exploiters who are no longer willing to support the record companies' protection policy. In this respect, the question arises how long the remaining majors Sony BMG and Warner can maintain their policy of isolation.