Consumers Loosening Up To Copy-Restricted CDs

Feb 24, 2005 (12:02 PM EST)

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Consumers may be willing to accept the idea of copy-restricted CDs, if music companies are willing to offer lower prices or other incentives, a research firm said Thursday.

A third of consumers who do not copy CDs and 27 percent who do said they would prefer a copy-once CD, if it cost $5 less than a regular disk, according to a survey by Park Associates.

The music industry last year proceeded very cautiously with the idea of copy-protected CDs, releasing only 10 million in the U.S. The slow approach was due to concern that consumers would reject such a product, Park Associates analyst Harry Wang said.

"But our research indicates that it might be time for the industry to promote copy-protected CDs more aggressively, provided they can find the right price points, or other incentives that will attract consumers," Wang said.

Consumers appear ready to embrace the concept of copy-restriction in music, which would help in the music industry's battle against CD piracy, Wang said. But the long-term success of any technology related to digital-rights protection depends on a user experience that meets consumers' expectations.