DRM, Digital Content and the Consumer Experience: Lessons Learned from the Music Industry

This is a screencast of the DRM presentations I gave last week at O’Reilly Media’s Tools of Change for Publishing conference.

6 Responses to “DRM, Digital Content and the Consumer Experience: Lessons Learned from the Music Industry”

  1. Fuzzlet says:

    Very insightfull presentation! I’m currently looking into DRM and watermarking for a European consortium of audiovisual archives (the project is called European Film Gateway) and will be writing a recommendation on this technology. Links to good articles are very welcome!

  2. Kat Prawl says:

    Excellent exposition of the history and facts of life concerning DRM for music and now ebooks. From my roughly 15 years in the optical media industry I can vouch for the authenticity of Kirk’s analysis. I’ve posted the link to this presentation on the forum for my grad school class on digital media, and I will be commenting on it at greater length in my blog soon.

  3. Brilliant. Fascinating.

    Am in the process of negotiating self-publishing at the moment and battling with formats. It is all much more complicated than it should be.

    My followers beg me not to include DRM. In fact, ‘promise I can buy your book for *insert device*’ followed by a tweet or comment about how much DRM sucks is the second most common question I receive about my book (after ‘when can I buy your book?’) Thinking back over comments, the two devices I think people will read my work on will be Kindle and Sony Reader.

    I’ve put this vid up on my blog – http://bit.ly/96bmR0 – and tweeted it up for you.

    Thanks for such a thorough presentation.

    @rebeccawoodhead on Twitter

  4. Rebecca – you’re right about ebook formats being much more complicated than it needs to be. And, of course, DRM only makes it that much more complex.

    As far as device support goes, I suggest you publish your ebook in three formats: ePub, mobi, and PDF.

    mobi works on the Kindle, ePub works on the Sony and just about everything else, and some people still prefer PDF (although I expect that we’ll see a change in format preference as consumers become more familiar with ePub).

    Thanks for the tweets and links!

  5. Great presentation, pretty much interesting to see.


    This works only for the countries with pretty high life standars like US or Canada, or maybe UK. Living in Russia i may say thet NOBODY will buy something that can begetting for FREE. The same thing is in China, India and wherever else what we call developing countries. Keep in mined that more than half planet population lives there.

    The DRM technology is really support media industry, developer and publishers. Look at iTunes: it exists for almost 8 years, but still nobody in Russia buys there (broadband internet is pretty widely availbale here). “Whay to buy if i can take it for free nearby?” – asks consumer himself.

    We should be realists. DRM helps to back development investments during the sales peak. I have to notice this statement is more accurate for software and game industry then for music and eBook one.

  6. juan riccio says:

    Insightful indeed, and crystal clear.

    I got myself a Kindle and it gave me back the pleasure (and the possibility) of reading. However, many classics are not available for the Kindle through the Amazon store, and many essays (including most technical books) never get published in Kindle format.

    Looking for such books, I stumbled on a wealth of websites that filled up my Kindle with content. Now I’ve got enough stuff to keep reading till I’m pushing up the daisies.

    Besides, the pricing of digital editions is still insane. Digital editions should cost LESS, not more than paper editions. A lot less. Publishers, do you get it yet?