21 January 2009

Microsoft's Cunning Plan: DRM Costs More

You've got to give it to Microsoft: they really think outside the box. After all, who else would have come up with the brilliant wheeze of justifying prices that were over the odds for mobile downloads by adding that super-useful, super-popular feature of DRM?

The paid-for MSN Mobile Music service, launched in partnership with London-based VidZone Digital Media, offers tracks for £1.50, ringtones for £3 and videos for £2 from http://www.msn.co.uk


The prices seem steep in comparison with other paid download sites around: market leader iTunes, which will soon allow 3G iPhone users to buy songs, commonly offers single tracks for £0.79, while Amazon.co.uk goes as low as £0.59 for recently released singles. And Musically.com points out that unlike those download services, MSN Mobile tracks are not DRM-free. A message on the help section of the site reads: "When you purchase the music, you get unlimited plays for the content whilst it remains on the device. At this stage, you cannot transfer your music to another device or PC."

Sounds like a winner to me.

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