This Wired article (Wired News: Real Stern Shocker: No Podcast) is really about Howard Stern and his new Sirius satellite radio show, but it touches on some interesting digital media distribution issues.
In fact, if ever Stern considered distributing his stuff online, it was most likely the DRM considerations that scared him away — a sad testament to the fractured state of the online media distribution industry, which scares users as much as it does many broadcasters and copyright owners.
The article also talks about things being available in “a readily consumable form.” That is really the key. When we can offer our content in a form that consumers may use as they wish, we will win. Right now that format appears to be mp3 (at least for audio). Not necessarily because mp3 is the best sounding codec, but because it is the least sullied by controlling corporate interests and the resulting DRM issues.
I believe that ultimately, when the bandwidth and portability issues allow, all media will be accessable from the network on a subscription basis or through monthly billing based on use. Of course that won’t be allowed to happen until all of the big media conglomerates die, or see the light.