Digital Music

eMusic Adds Universal Catalog Ahead Of Planned November Relaunch

image from eMusic has added select songs from Universal Music Group to its growing 10 million track catalog. Only songs released more than 18 months previoisly will be part of the initial 250,000 track offering. EMI remains the single major label hold out, but sources indicate ongoing negotiations to bring them aboard ahead of a planned November relaunch.

For years the major label groups would not license tracks to eMusic whose subscription model typically delivers tracks for 40 – 50% less than iTune's or Amazon feeling that it devalued their releases.  But the search for new revenue sources and a strategy of only making select older tracks has now led three of the four majors to change their tune.

eMusic is planning a November relaunch supported by a major marketing campaign designed to reverse a slight decline in membership of around 375,000 from a peak of 400,000 subscribers in 2008.

More: eMusic Close To Signing More Major Labels As Part Of Planned November Relaunch


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  1. They are switching from a credit/points system to a monetary value as well.
    I’m sure that most current emusic users couldn’t care less about Universal’s catalogue (well at least their current output)
    I’m not sure that this kind of activity will increase their numbers, for a new user £14.99 for 30 downloads isn’t good value against a Spotify Premium subsciption.

  2. BRR,
    it seems like this is more about gaining new members, not about pleasing current ones. It’ll be interesting to see how this goes over with the current member base, but even more interesting to see if it helps bring in new customers.
    the service is download-to-own, so it’s a bit different than spotify, isn’t it? Spotify is technically still a streaming service, and although it’s available through a number of portable devices, you don’t keep the tracks if you decide to leave. In that sense, it seems like it’s much more similar to Rhapsody in the US. eMusic is kind of in its own niche…though this move seems to be bringing it closer to the variable pricing of itunes/amazon, but with slightly lower pricing and less of a focus on new releases.
    Either way, it’s nice to see Universal finally making some more moves into the digital realm. They’ve been moving at a snail’s pace with these kinds of deals.

  3. I agree with marcus. It is more about gaining new members than pleasing current ones.
    And, there are big competitors like amazon and itunes that’s right. Seems to be a hard challange to grow.

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