Bait, switch and upgrade with DRM-free music

OK – who isn’t talking about this? DRM-free EMI tracks at a higher price and higher quality on iTunes.

I think it comes down to this:

  • you’re still (for now) locked into the Apple eco-system – Apple win;
  • you can get music at high quality and DRM-free – consumer win;
  • many people will re-buy or upgrade songs to get the higher quality or non DRM – EMI win

It’s marketing – someone thought it through…

People will do that last one for the same reason that people buy something on DVD that they already have on VHS – and when will Star Wars come out on Blu-ray or HD-DVD so all geeks feel compelled to buy it again??

The bait is DRM-free or high quality music. The switch is that people will likely spend money on music they already had. If you’re reading this and thinking you’re too clever for that, then this marketing scheme wasn’t aimed at you and you are likely in the minority. This deal is for people who buy stuff just because it’s on sale.

Of course even if the other major industry players cave, DRM will not come off rental/subscriptions deals which of course is perfectly rational.