EMI’s gamble to release its music in a format free of any DRM appears to be paying off. Early reports show that digital sales of EMI artists have grown substantially since Apple and other online music stores started to offer DRM-free files. For example, Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd is up 272 percent (including a 350 percent spike in the first week), A Rush of Blood to the Head by Coldplay is up 115 percent, Siamese Dream by the Smashing Pumpkins is up 17 percent.
It is still too early to call DRM-free music a success but if this trend continues, the other record labels will need to reconsider their position. EMI appears confident that this is not just due to an early rush but a sign that customers are liking the more open format and letting their money express that satisfaction.