DRM: Where we've been, are going...


Guardian is running an interesting take on the past and future of DRM'd music.

Therein, digital tunes will break down into three segments--low-quality, advertising-support services; mid-range offerings that bundle tunes with devices, like Nokia's "Comes with Music;" and the high-end, ie a la carte iTunes downloads with or without DRM.

Mark Mulligan, digital music analyst, Jupiter Research, says he expects that Apple will change its approach and embrace next-gen services.

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"It's highly likely Apple will get into the next-generation service game," he says without elaborating on the all-important why. "That could be Apple selling iPods pre-installed with unlimited access to music, or with a bundle to a subscription offering."

It's worth noting that Apple likely doesn't need to do anything to maintain its dominance of digital music. It's also worth noting that Apple has a long history of breaking its own successful business models to obviate the competition.

Which will it be? Status quo or something new embodying "services" (ie pay forever music)?

I for one am not opposed to things staying just as they are...

What's your take?

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