eMusic Adds On a Major Label, increases prices. Now What? (version 1.1, with edits)

(by the way, I’ve added on a post since, talking about first impressions of the new Emusic)

On June 3rd, 2009, I checked out eMusic to see if there was anything new that I might want to download and I’m met with a major announcement of a massive expansion of their selection and a severe increase in per download prices (same price, fewer downloads). Of course, I read many of the comment and after a few balanced comments there was the torrent of “OMIGOD, YOU JUST RUINED EMUSIC FOR ME FOREVER!” postings.

For a moment (before you read the tonnes of flamage), let me tell you my thoughts and opinions on this:

  • Don’t like the price increase on this (and I DON’T like that they hid the price increase as download decreases), but I can swallow it. A company needs to make money to continue (after all, we’re talking about something we can go without, unlike automobiles…). I must say I’m glad that the dig on me is not nearly as bad as it is for some.
  • Sony/BMG? Okay…the biggest of the majors, and the lamest of the majors. If you could have gotten WEA, I would have been much happier.
  • The company needed to handle this much better. A dictate from on-high, with an attempt to overload the senses doesn’t fool anyone; indeed much of the responses seem to be people goaded by the tactic.
  • I can see myself downloading some of the stuff in the Sony/BMG catalog. The Velvet Underground and the first 3 Chicago albums immediately come to mind, I’m sure there’s a few other offerings there that will be worth doing. After all, while I always tried to support indie labels, I have no problem buying and/or supporting a Major Label Artist.
  • Hope: That people will jump in for the Sony/BMG stuff and find themselves ordering more Independent stuff. Fear: That Sony/BMG stuff will crowd out the independents, causing eMusic to become what it once was the alternative to.
  • And finally: Will I Stay On? Maybe. I’ll want to try it out for a few months. Hopefully the addition of Sony/BMG doesn’t foreshadow a severe downhill drift in Emusic; but if it does it won’t be the first time I’ve stuck by something after its “sell by” date (and this time I’ll definitely be ready to jump off.

Anyway, that’s my take.

(My first impressions of the new Emusic)

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3 thoughts on “eMusic Adds On a Major Label, increases prices. Now What? (version 1.1, with edits)

  1. Nice analysis. My take: people will mine for a month or two (hey, there are some classics I’ll pay 5 bucks or whatever for), but in the end eMusic is dead. It’s about exploration, and they’re killing that. And there is no way the Sony crap (and much of it will be crap) doesn’t crowd out 90% of the indie stuff.

  2. I gotta say that an increase from 22.2¢ per download to damn close to 40¢ per download is a very steep price increase. I understand eMusic has to be a viable business etc. but I’ll bet that at most I’ll want about 3 tracks a year from the newly available labels.

    Truth is, for years those labels have ignored my musical interests. Why should I now be expected to pay a whole lot more so that their releases can be available on eMusic? It’s not like you can’t find their releases in many other places, real world and online. Why should I support their desires to fatten their bottom line on recordings that they’ve mostly made their investment back on many times over.

    I valued eMusic for the opportunity to check out, at very low cost, a lot of new recordings that generally are hard to find in the physical world. I really don’t give a fuck about being able to download The Clash or Sex Pistols via eMusic. They’re hardly what I’d call cutting edge music any longer. No one who’s opinion I respect would think that they were significant today in any way other than historical. Much as I like the music, they’ve become basically little more than consumerist fodder for those who haven’t kept up with the times.

    I think that this new strategy is kissing the asses of the fat shits that are only concerned about money, not music; the same fat shits who damn near wrecked their business through their unfettered greed. It’s a serious stumble for eMusic in my opinion.

    Obviously, the value I derived from the low-cost ability to audition a lot of music has now been chucked out the window. I can only hope that sufficient attention continues to be paid to the wide range of music that does interest me; the music made by musicians for those involved with music, not just product. If the availability or profile of worthwhile music is diminished with this change it will truly be a sad day for eMusic.

  3. Exactly what others are saying – I never cared for mainstream music and I was with eMusic since Nov 2006, with a $20 plan that would let me download 90 songs. I liked emusic for all the indie music, and in particular, Indian Classical music. Now I say goodbye forever. I’d be glad if they close shop.

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