Want to increase sales? Remove DRM!
A recent study has revealed that removing DRM from albums would boost revenue rather than losing it to pirates. It turned out that music revenue rise 10% on general content and 30% on other content.It means that the customers don’t like when the rights owners place restrictions on content and prefer to buy something else instead. Digital rights management has been a complete disaster, because pirates found it easy to bypass, but the system had a nasty habit of bricking machines it couldn’t cope with. As a result, people using pirated versions were getting better quality because the DRM wasn’t making their lives a misery and actually discouraged them to buy legitimate product.
The research was based on a survey of over 5,800 albums from 634 artists and compared the sales figures before and after the labels decided to drop DRM. It works if the entertainment industry tries to bring in DRM-like controls using such things as album release dates, music genre and regular sales variations over time.
For example, older albums selling less than 25,000 copies saw their sales grow by 41% and overall lower-selling albums got a 30% sales increase. So, DRM only seemed to work for top selling work.
The researchers point out that the 30% sales increase for lower-selling albums can be due to DRM-free music making it easier for customers to share files and discover new music. Indeed, the finding that removing DRM from top-selling works has almost no effect or negative effect on sales really makes sense, because the discovery element is less important for well-promoted artists.