Bronfman Open To DRM-free Music
September 20, 2007 at 5:31 AM (PT)
WARNER MUSIC GROUP CEO EDGAR BRONFMAN on TUESDAY raised the possibility of selling digital music without copy protection, in what appeared to be a softening of his previous outright opposition, reports REUTERS. BRONFMAN told an investor conference that while he did not see a world without digital rights management (DRM), there was a possibility of certain business models working without DRM software, which prevents music fans from sharing songs.
"DRM is here to stay, whether it's here to stay on every business model in the music business is open to question," he said at the GOLDMAN SACHS Communacopia conference.
BRONFMAN has been the most vocal of the major record company executives in his stance against dropping DRM. In FEBRUARY, he said selling digital music without protection was not logical as it would be the only media category to do so.
But so far this year, CD album sales have fallen faster than expected and sales of digital music downloads via stores like APPLE's ITUNES have failed to fully make up for the shortfall. This has forced music companies to explore different ways to market and distribute music to fans.
In APRIL, EMI GROUP became the first major label to agree to drop DRM. The largest music company, UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP, announced a broad experiment with a range of retailers last month.