More than 800 comments have been submitted to the FTC in advance of hearings on the impact of DRM on consumers. Four of the major copyright industry trade associations have jointly submitted useful comments. The four are the the Association of American Publishers ("AAP'),the Entertainment Sofware Association ("'ESA"), Motion Picture Association of America ("MPAA"), and Recording Industry Association of America ("RIAA). Their submission provides a good overview of all the different ways in which DRM is being used to facilitate business models and consumer oriented services. This document is well worth a read.
The document begins by considering the definition of DRM offered by the FTC in calling the hearing and how that definition should be improved or augmented (notes omitted, emphasis and paragraph breaks added).
DRM should also be viewed as the technologies that facilitate broader consumer access to copyrighted works, and that reflect the parameters of the bargains entered into between owners of content and consumers who purchase access to it.
DRM also offers greater flexibility, allowing copyright owners (and their licensees) to tailor their offerings to the specific distribution rights they possess, to offer more granular options to consumers, to experiment with different price points, different roles for advertising, and different time limits for use -in short, to better meet the diverse needs of diverse audiences.
Although I could quibble with both definitions above, the trade associations have a good point: it's about business models.