Red Herring writes that Apple’s iPod is partly to blame for the collapse of the music industry, according to a report Friday from researcher eMarketer:
“The Mac maker helped set the tone for a rat’s nest of restrictions and incompatibilities that have stalled the growth of digital music,” according to Paul Verna, the author of the report, which also said that industry revenue continues to fall because customers are confused.
“A big part of the reason is music fans are asked to sort out the explosion of incompatible formats, players, restrictions, and retailers. That lack of simplicity has slowed sales.”
The report said that digital rights management, or DRM, which restricts the number of places where consumers can copy their music, has also played a major role in hindering digital music sales. While the industry has finally taken steps to remove DRM from certain stores—such as the Amazon MP3 Store and, more recently, Napster—it hasn’t been enough. The report said that the downward sales trend will continue throughout 2008.