Monday, February 25, 2008

Audiobook DRM RIP

The story of the month must go to the news that Random House are to allow audiobook downloads to be sold online as downloads free of DRM. We have written about their watermark experiment with eMusic and the mystery as to why Penguin pulled out.
This at last brings some sanity to the market and we hope will not only kick-start the long overdue audio push but importantly allow all online players and the channel to compete. It is great news for the industry and hopefully just as with music the gates will open and many will follow. It is certainly a great day for retailers and consumers.

It puts Audible in funny position as it effectively sounds a death knell for their unique selling point their proprietary DRM. The question of whether Amazon would have bought them today is now debatable, as is the price they would have to paid toady. The other interesting position to watch is Amazon DRM free versus Amazon Audible.

But the day must go to Random, hats off and sanity returns. The next issue is that of pricing, but that’s for another day.