Musicload, one of the largest European online music stores, says DRM is causing 75 percent of all their customer service problems. ARS Technica reports:
Musicload said in a letter distributed last week that customers are having consistent problems with DRM, so much so that 3 out of 4 customer service calls are ultimately the result of the frustrations that come with DRM. In a business where the major music labels expect to be paid well for their source material, the costs of supporting DRM are borne entirely by the music retailers. If the labels' love affair with DRM is hurting the companies trying to make a go at selling music online, something is horribly wrong.
According to Musicload, DRM "makes the use of music quite difficult and hinders the development of a mass-market for legal downloads." The lack of interoperability is unfair to customers and prevents true competition between music services, in other words.
Musicload itself is in heated competition in Germany with Apple's iTunes Store. Apple's Steve Jobs has come out against DRM as well, although his iTunes Store does not offer DRM-free music despite the fact that many artists have requested it. A new upstart in the online music sales business, Aime Street, has inked deals with a number of top artists to do what Apple thus far has been unwilling to do, while eMusic has seen moderate success selling DRM-free music from independent labels for quite some time now.