Sony wanted to protect the media that the company had invested in. They did not see the changes in consumer preferences and technological change.
Sony detested Napster and what they did not realize was the changes in the way files are distributed on the internet. FTP was widely used for many years but a new technology with peer to peer sharing emerged with simpler design.
The first Apple iPod was released back in October of 2001. The machine was designed to play MP3 format audio. Sony considered the device a serious threat.
In 2005 news broke out after consumers and technical experts discovered something with wrong with the compact discs from Sony BMG. Evidently the disks in computers installed software without disclosure to the user. Experts noticed a new type of exploitable malware called a rootkit.
Even worse Sony used several open source packages in violation of the opens source licenses requiring the acceptance of an open source license.
Eventually after some backlash and the eventual removal of the offending software things quieted down. The explosion in malware based on the rootkit from Sony began to become a serious threat.
What Sony management did not consider is that MP3 was a new format and the new portable players allowed people to take their music with them. MP3 players exploded into the market lead primarily by Apple.
Now some 15 years after the debacle, the MP3 player has yielded to the mobile phone. Music tagged along which kept the compact disc alive.
Many retail stores that sold music folded but not for the usual scapegoat reasons. Many were poorly managed and this was the reason for insolvency. Today there are still stores selling compact discs along with moves and related media mostly in larger malls.
Apple introduced a lossless format that allowed CD quality sound. High quality headphones are now widely available. Now all the compact disks need to imported into lossless format.
Thanks to the mess of the CD DRM, Sony became a commercial paria and they missed out on a golden opportunity. Consumers want freedom not chains. The cost to Sony is probably close to $1 trillion over 15 years.
One headache a collection of compact discs brings, where to store them all.
100 HITS SERIES
Sony BMG realized they could make some money with box sets. Bundling 100 songs into 5 or 6 compact disks and retailing them for under $15 has become wildly popular. There are more than 16 different sets and slowly they are finding their way into the music collection.
Riding on the success of Sony BMG, some other publishers started offering 100 song compilations as well. Consumers are grateful for vast numbers of songs for their collections. In iTunes I rotate the 100 song box sets while I decide what songs should be on select playlists. With thanks to Sony BMG I have been able to expand my music collection at an affordable price.