UK music retailers say ‘DRM is killing us’

Written by Tim Smalley

November 22, 2007 | 14:09

Tags: #association #drm #entertainment #industry #killing #music #retailers #sales

Companies: #era #uk

The Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA), the organisation which represents retailers that sell music and DVDs, has called for the music industry to put an end to DRM, citing it as the reason why music sales are declining in the UK.

A recent study revealed that that only 150 million tracks have been downloaded in the last three years, meaning that the average Brit has bought less than one track per year during that period. That’s undeniably a sorry state for an industry that was once flourishing.

Because of the many different (and incompatible) DRM mechanisms employed by the recording industry, many consumers are resorting to other means of acquiring the music, as they fear that the tracks they’re purchasing won’t work in all of their electronics devices.

The issue here is that the recording industry believes that, by implementing more invasive copy protection methods, it can wipe out the ever-increasing file sharing community. Many of you believe that this simply isn’t the case and, I’m sure you’ll be pleased to hear that music retailers seem to be more in touch with the consumer’s needs. They realise that DRM is one of the major reasons why their sales figures are on the decline.

ERA director general Kim Bayley told the Financial Times that the DRM mechanisms employed by the recording industry are “stifling growth and working against the consumer interest.” Bayley also highlighted that record labels were quick to complain when the slide in CD sales wasn’t offset by digital music sales growth, but their choice to adopt DRM mechanisms “might have added to the slow take up of legal digital services.”

Do you think the recording industry will ever listen to its consumers? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.
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