Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Customer experience and DRM

I'm organizing the DRM panel at U Chicago GSB's upcoming High Tech Confernece. I inviited Don Norman to come and speak about user experience and DRM, but he declined saying he didn't know much about the subject. A pity. As Arnold Kling points out, Convenience is King, and customer pain adds to price as much as dollars and cents. One of the reasons that Napster never made unknown, garage bands famous was because there was no difference in price between a popular song and an obscure song, so the popular song always wins. I think that Arnold is right though, and there is so much legal involvement in these services that they cannot possibly serve actual customers.

Palladium, for all it's evils, promises to improve the experience of using DRM content. Since using non-DRM content on Microsoft systems is currently so horrible, I'm skeptical about how good a "good" DRM experience can me.


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