Steve Jobs to Music Industry: Drop DRM

It a rather astounding open letter entitled “Thoughts on Music” posted to the Apple website today, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said that Apple “would embrace… wholeheartedly” a music marketplace free of of Digital Rights Management schemes.

The music companies sell the vast majority of their music DRM-free, and show no signs of changing this behavior, since the overwhelming majority of their revenues depend on selling CDs which must play in CD players that support no DRM system.

So if the music companies are selling over 90 percent of their music DRM-free, what benefits do they get from selling the remaining small percentage of their music encumbered with a DRM system? There appear to be none.


This is not a new argument, but it has gotten very little play in the corporate world to date. Short of the record companies themselves, there’s no single entity with more weight to throw around in this arena than Apple.