Some Predictions for the New Year - 2007 will be the Year of Mainstream DRM-Free Music Services
I always said the only way to kill DRM is let more and more people experience its side effects. This will lead for low sales and lack of competition with iTunes, which will eventually convince the music industry to do without it. Guess what? It is happening and it is happening now!
Don't take my word for it, check this piece from Reuters (published in this case on PC Magazine):
Ailing Music Biz Set to Relax Digital Restrictions
Looks like Yahoo! (which I credited in the past for their anti-DRM agenda) and Amazon are planning to open a DRM free music service and in the case of Amazon they actually avoided opening a DRM based service so far because of their anticipation for a DRM free one. Jeff Bezos deserves a few more points for this decision (and for many others like the S3 and EC2 services but this is a totally different subject).
With all the respect for Yahoo! and Amazon, the real competition for iTunes (and this is my second prediction for the new year) will come from MySpace. Their attempt to streamline the process of exposure, publicity, distributions and sales for musicians via its social network, holds the promise to disintermediate the labels altogether. If DRM wasn't going be killed by the music industry, the MySpace approach would have been the one to kill it along with the music industry, by creating a new one.