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iTunes goes DRM-free at last. Games industry take note.
TechCrunch reports from the MacWorld keynote that all songs sold via iTunes will be DRM-free by the end of the quarter.
Now they point out that all music that you bought before the DRM-free announcement still needs to be upgraded to DRM-free versions of the same songs – it is not automatically DRM-free. It’s easy, it just takes one click. But it will cost you 30 cents per song.
ITunes has sold over 6 billion tracks: that’s $1.8 billion. Nice work if you can get it.
The bigger point for the games industry is that DRM is going the way of the dodo. ITunes was a standard-bearer for legal downloads of music but it was DRM-restricted (that strongly put me off from joining the Apple bandwagon.) Now they have persuaded the paleolithic record companies that DRM is a thing of the past.
As the games industry moves into a digital world, this problem will come to us next. Smart publishers are already working out how to tie their users into a game through offering online services, microtransactions or subscriptions. DRM will soon be a big turn-off for consumers. Better start working out how to protect your business some other way.