Thursday, November 18, 2010

Don't stop the music

Emusic recently announced it was adding 250,000 new songs from Universal to its catalogue. They also said they were changing the pricing structure. The bummer for Kiwis using Emusic was that none of the new catalogue will be available here, but we still get the price hike. Suck!

Now comes the news that Emusic have lost the rights to music from Domino, Merge, and Beggars Group (XL, 4AD, Matador, Rough Trade) and music from those labels "...will no longer be available on eMusic as of Nov. 18, 2010 pending further discussions."

Emusic has sent out an email to its members urging them to petition the labels mentioned, but fail to explain why they haven't been able to renegotiate with them. has more detail on this... see "Emusic’s rift with indie labels"

"Gerard Cosloy, head of Matador Records, explained the departure in a post on the Matador blog: “[A]s eMusic has brought more major labels into the fold, they have changed the terms on which they deal with labels, some of which we have found impossible to accept, in our own interests, those of our artists, and ultimately those of their fans.” Merge Records wrote: “Unfortunately, eMusic’s unilateral changes in an effort to bring on the major labels has created a situation where it would be harmful to the interests of Merge and our artists to continue our partnership at this time.”

Emusic built up its user base by catering to indie music fans, so signing up major labels doesn't really add anything of value for those existing customers. Losing access to the likes of Arcade Fire, The National, Vampire Weekend, The xx, Cat Power, Caribou, The Pixies, and more sounds like a death blow to me.


Simon said...

Can't help thinking these guys (eMusic) can't see the wood for the trees.

I was cut off by them because I was in Asia. My normal monthly renewal simply didn't happen and my questions about it were answered by form email.

Pete said...

I ditched my account when they first started messing with majors and suddenly all of these things were 'not available in your territory' which juts isnt acceptable for a subscription service. I reckon they are pretty shonky and will die a slow, painful death.. Good to see you back on the blogging Peter!

Peter said...

Simon: looks like their subscriber base has been static at 400,000 for the past few years, so I guess this their attempt at growing that number. By trying to be iTunes.

Peter: thanks for the comments. Good to be back