DRM Conflicts Delay Lucrative 144 Million Device Market, Says Strategy Analytics
According to the Strategy Analytics, insufficient and incompatible digital rights
management (DRM) solutions represent one of the last remaining hurdles facing
technology equipment providers racing to cash in on the "connected home". In a
connected home, consumers can download and transfer music and video content between
their home PC, home theater and portable media devices.
The Strategy Analytics report, "Connected Home Rollouts Await Direction From Content
Owners", finds that major content owners such as Disney, Fox and Warner are still not
convinced that digital rights management (DRM) solutions are meeting their needs.
The analysts say connected home proponents -- such as Intel, Sony and Philips -- must
give high priority to solving DRM interoperability challenges if they are to maximize
the revenue potential from this 144 million connected device market opportunity.
"Consumers increasingly want to share media between different digital devices," said
David Mercer, Principal Analyst at Strategy Analytics. "But incompatible DRM
solutions mean that they cannot know whether a particular piece of music or video
content will play on a particular device. While the efforts of organizations like the
DLNA and Coral are commendable, the process of establishing widely accepted
interoperable and open standards is likely to prove lengthy and arduous. Apple's
iTunes/iPod model demonstrates that proprietary and incompatible solutions can be
successful, in the short term at least."
According to the report, wider adoption of media-sharing devices will be delayed as
long as content owners disagree between themselves on how they wish to benefit from
DRM technologies. Technology providers, in turn, cannot develop a horizontal market
for connected devices until major content providers have agreed on a common framework
of DRM interoperability.