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NARM Looks to Future

12 Aug, 2006 By: Jessica Wolf

The National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) focused on a digital future at its annual In Sights and Sounds convention, held this year in Kissimmee, Fla., Aug. 3-5.

“It's clear that because consumers want both physical and digital entertainment choices, potential exists for the entire industry,” Jim Donio, NARM president, said in his opening remarks.

NARM has recommissioned and broadened the scope of its Media-On-Demand Task Force, which has been looking at digital download and CD-burning trends. The group, now called the Digital Entertainment Advisory Council, will widen its efforts to help music retailers “marry the digital and physical shopping experience,” Donio said.

Digital Rights Management (DRM) is one of the biggest issues for this segment of the music industry, Donio said. Recently, the board of directors in a statement urged labels and hardware providers to adopt cohesive and compatible DRM standards.

“If consumers are discouraged by compatibility constraints and conflicts and cannot seamlessly enjoy their entertainment on a variety of systems, they will be less inclined to purchase more music and other content,” he said.

NARM welcomed four new members to its board of directors at the confab: Gary Arnold of Best Buy, Mike Fratt of Homer's Records, Leigh Ann Moore of Circuit City, and Rob Perkins of Value Music Concepts.

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