DRM Round-up: Q1 2019
Another 3 months of DRM. Time to see how the industry has done since Christmastime.
I have a policy of refusing to purchase any eBooks encumbered with DRM, which I observe strictly. My frustration has grown so immense that I have begun cataloguing all the eBooks that I would have bought if not for DRM.
These are the results of my analysis to date, showing just how much more money publishers could have wrangled out of me if only they were willing to sell me actual products and not bogus contractural lookalikes.
Figure 1. Spending to date on eBooks, and potential spending prevented by DRM
Note 1: Figures adjusted for assumed average inflation rate of 2%p.a. and reported in Australian dollars at today's prices
Note 2: Purchased eBooks include DRM-free eBooks purchased in both Australian markets, and in US markets (despite georestrictions) where available DRM-free in the US but not Australia
To date, publishers could have increased their sales revenue from me by 160% by offering DRM-free copies of eBooks, similar to last quarter's figures.
Figure 2. Potential spending prevented by DRM by publisher to date
Note: DRM-encumbered eBooks published by different publishers in Australia and the US are counted towards both publishers (as either being DRM-free would result in a purchase), so figures do not add up to those in Figure 1
Delving deeper into that nasty red section, staunch DRM advocate Hachette climbs yet further, primarily through its Orbit imprint. Adding this quarter to the list of affected authors who have spoken out about DRM is Daniel Suarez.
Other publishers on the list – Penguin Random House, Orion, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and Macmillan – also saw some movement.
Figure 3. Spending on eBooks by publisher to date
Macmillan, through its Tor imprint, rockets ahead this quarter to overtake self-publishing. O'Reilly also advanced several places, thanks to some Humble Bundle sales.
Some of the smaller publishers in this category, including Wooden Pen and self-published works, continue to make gains.