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Monday, 01 June, 2009

Sony And eMusic
(with comments)

Music news: eMusic gets its first major.

Eleven years after it opened up shop, eMusic has finally won its first major-label repertoire, in the shape of Sony Music Entertainment - but the label is only consenting to give tunes older than two years.

SME, whose 50 percent BMG stake was bought out by Sony last year, is coming aboard with archive tracks - but isn't risking letting its hottest new releases go in to the wild. So this deal will bring eMusic customers material from the likes of Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen and Leonard Cohen, but the latest from artists like of Ciara, Britney Spears and Usher will be missing. NYT: "As part of the deal, eMusic says it will slightly raise prices and reduce the number of downloads for some of its monthly plans."


Permalink | Posted in Music |
  1. By L.. Comment posted 01-Jun-2009 @07:23am:
    Can we keep the old prices if we promise not download any of their tracks? (Though I have some hopes for the jazz that this might bring on board)
  2. By Mike Woodhouse. Comment posted 01-Jun-2009 @07:26am:
    Excellent. I seldom get to hear anything new until it's more than a couple of years old anyway. I'm sure there'll be enough in Sony's back-catalog to keep my quota occupied for years, especially when all the indie stuff I want is factored in.
  3. By L.. Comment posted 01-Jun-2009 @07:29am:
    Hmmm, no mention of it on the emusic site. I wonder if this is a US only deal? Knowing the record industry that seems highly likely.
  4. By L.. Comment posted 01-Jun-2009 @07:32am:
  5. By Tranjo. Comment posted 01-Jun-2009 @08:24am:
    Because I subscribed many years ago, I still get 90 downloads for $20 a month. That rate isn't available to new subscribers. Hopefully that means emusic will grandfather old accounts without service changes.
  6. By Dick Kusleika. Comment posted 01-Jun-2009 @09:21am:
    I caught Ciara on TV this weekend (SNL maybe?). They can hold her songs for 20 years if they like.
  7. By Banjo Brad. Comment posted 01-Jun-2009 @02:56pm:
    From what I took from the site's announcement, current subsribers (longer than monthly) are good until they renew, then the changes come in.

    140+ comments, and over 100 mentioned they will be canceling when their renewal date comes up.

    I'm on the $11.99 for 30 downloads month to month, and as far as I can see, I'm still good.

    I'm not really interested in any of the newer stuff, I'm there looking for OT recordings.
  8. By choiceweb. Comment posted 01-Jun-2009 @03:25pm:
    eMusic has also discontinued most of their plans and in some cases the slight price increase is from 20 some cents a track to 40 cents. I will have to think about sticking with it, when my plan expires next March.
  9. By J-Walk. Comment posted 01-Jun-2009 @04:02pm:
    My current plan is $11.99/month (paid in advance for one year), and I get 65 downloads. When my year expires in October, I will get 24 downloads per month for that price. That's a pretty drastic reduction.

    That's still about half the price of iTunes and Amazon.
  10. By J-Walk. Comment posted 01-Jun-2009 @04:05pm:
    And somebody made an excellent point:

    "With a higher cost comes a lower value. Now, a typical album will cost about 6 bucks. Guess what else costs about 6 bucks? Anything from the "Used CD" bin at my local record store (packed full of, you guessed it, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, The Clash...)."
  11. By J-Walk. Comment posted 01-Jun-2009 @04:12pm:
    Thinking about it a bit more, this is probably bad news for indie artists. Long-time indie music lovers will be leaving eMusic in droves, and will be replaced by those who are attracted by the Sony material.

    eMusic's royalty payout will switch from primarily indie artists to primarily corporate music.

    Yeah, I don't like this a bit. It's the beginning of the end of a good thing.
  12. By Bisbonian. Comment posted 01-Jun-2009 @04:45pm:
    I was originally at $9.99 a month/40 downloads. A year ago they upped to to $11.99/40. They tell me I will get 30/month for $11.99, starting later this month. Sounds like a better deal than yours J-Walk, but I think I've just about gotten all I want, anyway, and will probably pull the plug.
  13. By Bisbonian. Comment posted 01-Jun-2009 @05:04pm:
    New problems. I just went to download my 40 tracks for the month. It wanted me to download a new Download Manager first. I elected to stick with the old one, as it worked fine. Not any more. I selected one track, and it started downloading the entire album. I cancelled the tracks individually, and tried again (thinking I might have accidentally selected the album). Same result. So I went to download the new Download Manager, and found I now have only 29 tracks available. I wrote to them explaining the problem...we'll see what happens.
  14. By 12-stringer. Comment posted 01-Jun-2009 @05:07pm:
    I'm like Tranjo - 90 downloads per month, for $19.99, billed monthly. As long as I don't try to change my plan, I'm still grandfathered in at that now non-existent rate. Any attempt to "upgrade" would effectively result in a downgrade. Unless or until they decide to get smarmy with my account, I'm happy at that level, and will most likely continue.
  15. By Tranjo. Comment posted 01-Jun-2009 @06:01pm:
    I spoke too soon! I just got a notification that my plan will revert to *50* downloads for $19.99 per month starting Julyt 13. That's nearly double what I was paying before. I'm going to have to re-think continuing my subscription. It didn't take them very long to get smarmy!
  16. By Tranjo. Comment posted 01-Jun-2009 @06:09pm:
    On the other hand, under the new agreement for albums with more than 12 tracks you will only be charged for 12 downloads. Now I can get that 28 track Uncle Dave Macon set I've had marked for so long.
  17. By Blue. Comment posted 01-Jun-2009 @06:53pm:
    That multi track thing might make it ok for me. I have a long list of albums that I want, but as classical instrumentals they typically have 30-40 tracks.
  18. By 12-stringer. Comment posted 02-Jun-2009 @02:10pm:
    Rethinking here as well. A drop from 90 to 50 is more than a 44.4444...% reduction in service, with individual song prices increasing 90.9090...% (from $.22 to $.42). Not so sure about that album thing, either. "Album pricing will allow you to download selected albums of 12 or more tracks for the price of 12 downloads." (my bold emphasis). Whose selection?

    But wait, there's more! How 'bout this juicy enticement?
    "To celebrate the addition of all this great music we're giving you a 25-track booster pack (good for 30 days), free! The booster pack will automatically be added to your account in early August."
    (their bold emphasis). So, cut my plan almost in half (40 fewer downloads per month), and give me a one-time boost of 25? Wow. What fabulous customer service.
  19. By 12-stringer. Comment posted 02-Jun-2009 @02:38pm:
    Another alternative I already utilize is Bitmunk:
    * Really great indie music
    With over 1 million DRM-free songs that sell for 85 cents or less and albums that sell for $8.50 or less, Bitmunk is the best place to buy independent music online.
    * Fair-trade payment
    Up to 82% of what you pay goes directly to the artist. There is no better way to support the music than that!

    And, of course, the other fair-to-the-artist choice, CD Baby.
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