Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Techcrunch Fate of DRM podcast

This Techcrunch interview with David Goldberg is very interesting.

my reaction:

Wow, the timing of this interview is a bummer.
It will be very interesting to hear what Goldberg has to say now, after the announcement of the "jesusphone"
It "should" be possible to stream Yahoo music to the new iphone (too bad it's on Cingular/Edge)
The big question is whether or not it will be possible to play WMA-DRM'd tracks (anybody know if it is currently possible on a Mac? could Apple block this?) Did Goldberg already get wind of what Apple was up to? Is that what he was coyly alluding to near the end of the podcast?

I suspect that Yahoo arguing against DRM is a red herring.
The subtext of the whole interview is that itunes owns the market and any other player's (including Yahoo) only shot of making it in the space is if the studios drop DRM.

I don't doubt that Goldberg is sincere when he argues that dropping DRM is in the Studios' best interest (ceteris paribus), but even better for the Studios would be if Apple launched a subscription service (perhaps Yahoo is trying to get out in front of that)

My suggestion- One of the big subscription services should just give a bunch of drm ONLY players away and/or charge 1cent per play w/a $15/month cap (not sure if this is yet possible w/current state of DRM). This is also premised on the major assumption that limiting to just one player would overcome many of the technical problems that Yahoo bemoans regarding handling DRM (seems to be working for Apple).

Disclaimer: I tried to get a PM job at Yahoo Launch 2 years ago and was rebuffed (still not over it), but I honestly think Goldberg has been the smartest guy in this space since day one (Jobs was just lucky that his competition is so slow and sucks so bad)