Microsoft and the music biz

May 30, 2003 21:37 · 152 words · 1 minute read

Part 2 of CNET’s three parter on music talks about Microsoft’s positioning in the online music biz. There’s a lot of talk about Apple’s niche position in the marketplace, MS’ monopoly, and the formats that will ultimately win. Toward the end of the article, Ecast CEO Van-Adibé said:

“In the Windows marketplace, WMA is now a de facto standard for secure music.”

In my opinion, the trick here is that “secure music” is a sham. Consumers don’t want secure music. They want reasonably priced and convenient music. If a consumer is unable to buy a song and play it on any computer in their house, in their portable player (or car player) and at work, then they’re not going to be happy with it. Almost by definition, the DRM systems don’t allow this. If they do somehow allow it, and it’s perfectly convenient, then you’ll have a winner in the format wars.