Sunday, November 21, 2010

eMusic Changes

I've been talking about eMusic from time to time here on my blog(s).  I think it's been a great indie music online retailer, despite changes that have happened.  I think what eMusic just went through was one of the most major changes, which was included the largest amount of major label music to date.  With that they've changed (increased) pricing, and lost some great indie labels.  This may be the straw that broke the camel's back - but then people have said that before.  Here's some more details...

As eMusic Embraces Major Labels, Its Indie Core Is Leaving | Techdirt

"As eMusic Embraces Major Labels, Its Indie Core Is Leaving from the as-if-that-wasn't-predictable dept eMusic built itself up on a reputation for being a great way to get access to all sorts of indie music. The service, which has been around for ages, and pioneered offering authorized DRM-free MP3s, worked by letting you pay a certain subscription fee per month, which allowed you to download a specific number of songs. Over the years, the price went up, which upset some users, but things really took a turn last year when the company suddenly decided that it absolutely needed the major record labels in its collection. It started with the disastrous idea of adding Sony Music tracks at the same time as a big price increase... and then quietly trying to remove features (and then more features) without telling people. It also appeared that eMusic was deleting comments from critics. While the company denied this, there was a lot of evidence to support the claim.

Since then, the company has also added music from Warner Music and (just recently) Universal Music... but it hasn't really helped. Its userbase has remained about the same, so if the new music is enticing new subscribers, they're being offset by defections. But, more importantly, it looks like some of the bigger name indie labels are pulling their music off the site, as they can't come to a reasonable agreement with eMusic.

So, if I'm reading all this correctly, it sure looks like the company did quite a deal: it signed up major labels to get music that most of its subscriber base didn't want in the first place. In doing so it took away lots of popular features and jacked up prices. Now, the service is losing the content of some of the biggest indie bands.

This seems like a case study in not knowing your own audience."

(Continued... As eMusic Embraces Major Labels, Its Indie Core Is Leaving | Techdirt)

Download Service eMusic Unveils New Pricing Model, Indie Labels Jump Ship : The Record : NPR

Get them while you can, eMusic subscribers. When it comes to a record store, what's more important, a comprehensive selection or a carefully curated assortment of options?

It's a question that patrons of the subscription download service eMusic are going to have to confront starting tomorrow. The company has never been able to compete with iTunes or Amazon for a huge share of the digital downloading pie. But it has been well curated and well regarded; a note on the company's website reads: 'eMusic recreates the benefits of the corner music store.'

Today seemed to mark a shift in eMusic's priorities. The company announced that it would be adding 250,000 tracks to its catalog, but losing the music of major indie labels Domino and Merge, and the labels under the Beggars Group umbrella, which include Matador, XL, Rough Trade and 4AD."

(Continued... Download Service eMusic Unveils New Pricing Model, Indie Labels Jump Ship : The Record : NPR)

Do I stay or do I go?

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