Regarding Apple, EMI, and DRM

There's an important aspect to this week's announcement from Apple & EMI that they were going to begin selling EMI's catalog DRM-free on Apple's iTunes Store that may have been overlooked. That is the entry of DRM, both as a term and a concept, into the average consumer's vernacular.

Until now, I think it was only the geekier and more informed of consumers who even knew what DRM is. I think your mom buying her Joni Mitchell songs and your sister buying the latest Justin Timberlake release from the iTunes store to play on their iPod had no idea of the restrictions placed on their content. “DRM” was just another of those cryptic and mysterious tech acronyms that geeks toss around. The music played on their iPod, and that's all that mattered.

They are now aware of the term “DRM” and, more importantly, the restrictions it places on the content they've purchased and will purchase. Even further, it's been introduced to them as something that is worth paying extra to remove. Apple and EMI have made Joe and Jane Consumer not only aware of it, but introduced it to them as a negative. Beyond finally being able to legally buy the last couple Depeche Mode albums, to me that is potentially the greatest part of the deal.