Steve Jobs has posted a very interesting article on Apple.com called Thoughts on Music. But it’s really a call for the music studios to embrace DRM-free music. He looks at three scenarios: One where Apple continues to maintain its current practice (where iTunes sells DRM-songs that work only with iPods), a second where Apple’s FairPlay DRM technology to others to achieve the interoperability that so many are looking for, and third, having the studios abandon DRM technology.
Steve makes a number of salient observations:
- Studios already sell most of their music without DRM (on CDs).
- European countries are the most vocal about interoperability, Ironically, three of the largest music labels are owned by European interests.
- Apple estimates that only 22 out of every 1,000 songs stored on an iPod are bought from iTunes.
Where do Steve Jobs and Apple stand on all this? If the big four music companies would license Apple their music without the requirement that it be protected with a DRM, we would switch to selling only DRM-free music on our iTunes store. Every iPod ever made will play this DRM-free music.