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DRM Inside: DRM and the future of digital media


The debate about the future of digital rights management (DRM) suffers from tunnel vision. It focuses on the perception of a "dismal valley" for DRM, and whether DRMfree experiments will bring an end to the approach altogether. The situation reflects the core issue that current DRM provides no compelling benefits to consumers. To see beyond the current confusion, it helps to realize that DRM's future is intimately tied to digital media and to the trajectories of its supporting technologies. There are large forces at work such as the rise of ad-supported online services and social media. The most crucial stakeholders – the new generations of consumers – have rising expectations for digital media. They are drawn to easy conveniences that are tuned to their lifestyles. In a hectic world of increasing competition for their attention, they seek freedom from excessive distraction and interruption. To discover new and engaging media, they follow thought-leaders and tap into their social networks. They want to use their various media devices together, and are frustrated with devices that do not work together easily. In order to be competitive in the future, digital media systems will need to manage user experiences and social networks. The new media services will open up new business models and will depend on DRM.

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Stefik, M. J. DRM Inside: DRM and the future of digital media. Keynote panel at Jupiter Media Digital Rights Strategies Conference; 2007 September 17; New York; NY.


Copyright © 2007 Palo Alto Research Center, Incorporated. All rights reserved.