Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Steve Jobs: Thoughts on Music

Here is an open letter dated February 6, 2007 from Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, Inc. to the European governments regarding the music industry. [Update: this event is covered at Ars Technica.] [Update: "DVD Jon" has an interesting take on Steve's use of statistics. (And so do I.)] This was not what I expected from him. I really believe he's telling the truth, and that doing so is in the best interest of his company, the global economy, consumers, and musicians. I think Apple is finally realizing that they would benefit more from an open music/player marketplace than from vendor lock-in marketplace. They currently sell 22 songs on iTMS for every iPod that they sell. If they were to sell DRM-free music, I would expect that number to skyrocket. DRM is the only thing keeping me from ditching the coasters, at least for music, and I for one would immediately jump on board. If a truly open marketplace were allowed to develop, I think we would see a global mini-renissance as more and better tools are developed to get musicians connected with people who like their music and vice versa. The ones who stand to lose are the brick-and-mortar stores. If this happens, say goodbye to the music sections in electronics stores. Oh, there will still be a nich market, just like we still have travel agents in the days of Travelocity, Expedia and their ilk, but it won't be the same as it has been. It will be better for the musicans and the consumers, but the middlemen will have to adapt. Here's hoping the Europeans have the cajones required to convince the music industry titans to allow DRM-free digital distribution. The biggest obstacle I see is the fact that the Big Four music titans are, to a certain extent, a large portion of the inefficiency that exists in the current system that will be eliminated before the dust settles when and if this finally goes down.


  1. I knew that is what he would say, not much of a surprise imho

  2. You've already updated my link on your blog list! I'm impressed! The only reason I noticed is because I can see which URL's referred to my site. Hopefully by this weekend you'll be able to link to! =)