EMI is Buying Market Share

Funny that so few Apple fan-boys are pointing out the obvious in praising Apple’s DRM-free deal with EMI. The latter company is an also-ran in physical and digital music, with something like 9.4% share. Dropping DRM and thereby increasing piracy is, in those terms, another way of saying that also-ran EMI is slashing prices (to zero at the margin) to buy market share.

I’m not saying that as a consumer that’s a bad thing, but let’s keep everything in context.


  1. Wow—hard to imagine missing the point more.
    All EMI music is *already* being pirated. It’s already available at arbitrarily high quality. People are copying it from the shiny discs in stores. And ripping it to the MP3 format which is *more* compatible than the one the iTMS will offer (not all players support AAC).
    In other words, it’s extremely unlikely that providing a more convenient way for consumers to buy less-piracy-friendly music will increase piracy in any signficant way.
    (Aside from which, I’m quite skeptical that music has been commoditized to the point that market share can be analyzed so simplistically.)

  2. indeed…
    – EVERY music sold worldwide is available on the p2p networks for free, and the old itunes drm was easily circumventable (burn to cd, rip again to mp3)
    – how would the sharing of mp3 between friends highten emi’s marketshare? it’s not being measured if it’s not being sold/distributed via the usual means
    perhaps you could elaborate on your thinking, but to me your argument is plain nuts

  3. I can’t agree with you, Paul. Piracy is already rampant – if you’re prepared to deal with the pain in the ass to get what you want, you can get anything you want. This move won’t increase piracy in any effective way, AFAICT. When I was in college, I went to LAN parties – anything you wanted was on the network. This move isn’t going to increase that, because it’s already saturated.
    It’s a matter of valuing convenience over hassle – someone with a credit card and no money issues can browse and download without needing to worry about DRM. It’s a great move with no downside – and I’m no Apple fan, I detest their culture.
    Sure, it’s not going to send us back to the “good old days” (record companies’ perspective), but nothing is going to send us back there – time moves in only one direction.

  4. I say they are increasing prices at the margin…at the diminimus cost of removing a software lock. It’s a forward thinking move by this “also ran”.