Ian Rogers has worked in both what we still call 'new' media and for record companies in the past; he was with WinAmp; he's currently with Yahoo! Music and has just posted a presentation he gave to some "friends in the music industry" in which threw down an interesting new policy.
First, he illustrated that convenience will always win out over hubris (or, rather, the perception that better makes people happy to pay and jump through hoops):
Then, he extrapolated what this will mean for Yahoo!Music in future:
If, on the other hand, you’ve seen the light too, there’s a very fun road ahead for us all. Lets get beyond talking about how you get the music and into building context: reasons and ways to experience the music. The opportunity is in the chasm between the way we experience the content and the incredible user-created context of the Web.
So, what does this mean for Yahoo, then, besides a firm rejection of DRM? Rogers believes that Y! can offer something which iTunes - "a spreadsheet which plays music" - can't, and that's context to the music. By a strange coincidence, the 'context' is what Yahoo is kind of good at - or at least, should be.
Here's where we start to disagree with him - to be frank, although we're quite curious about matters musical, we've never once thought "if only iTunes could tell us what the drummer on this track ate for breakfast the day he played" and tapping the questions that we do have into a browser has never proved too onerous; indeed, we've got iTunes plugged into Firefox anyway thanks to FoxyTunes.
But convenience? That can only be a good thing.