Digital Music

On Eve Of Relaunch, eMusic Loses 3 Key Indie Labels. Subscribers Not Happy.

image from www.countryuniverse.net Just days before a major relaunch, eMusic has lost three respected independent label groups. Music from Domino, Merge and the Beggars Group of labels which includes 4AD and Matador and artists like  Arcade Fire, Spoon, Belle & Sebastian, Cat Power, and Yo La Tengo will no longer be available as of November 18th. eMusic is scheduled to change subscription pricing later this month as it adds 250,000 tracks from UMG, the last major label to come aboard.

eMusic notified subscribers in an email Tuesday, but offered no reason for the change. On the eMusic forum, the reaction was negative with more than one subscriber predicting eMusic's decline and offering their own explanation of why indie labels are leaving the service:

"its inevitable. the math is straight-forward and its not good for the smaller labels when they have to compete against big back catalogs from the majors. add to it they were the ones who took all the risk in going digital many years before the bigs. this is their way of saying 'thx for screwing us over.'

"let me be perfectly clear: at the pricing you're moving to, emusic will primarily be a distributor for the big labels – hell, make it exclusively. the labels who made emusic's footprint as large as it is are getting hosed and they know it."

"i can't see how you can turn back, but really – at this point we're all looking at this as "you made your bed…"

 

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6 Comments

  1. Emusic has been screwing artists for years by paying them squat.
    This is a great example of lower prices really not working.

  2. Me thinks the indies should abandon eMusic and start their own eMusic digital service how it used to be long time ago — it should work out fine.

  3. Ok, so I guess, if anything, this goes to show that low priced downloads does not work. The labels want a bigger cut from the per-track payout. If the previous emusic deal of 50 – 60% wasn’t enough they only thing left to do was raise the price or just become like iTunes and give a flat $.60 to .65 pay-out. Clearly that seems to work for the labels as I don’t see Beggars Group pulling their catalog from either iTunes or Amazon… Basically the indies are saying you need to have big pockets to be in the game.

  4. Ok, so I guess, if anything, this goes to show that low priced downloads does not work. The labels want a bigger cut from the per-track payout. If the previous emusic deal of 50 – 60% wasn’t enough they only thing left to do was raise the price or just become like iTunes and give a flat $.60 to .65 pay-out. Clearly that seems to work for the labels as I don’t see Beggars Group pulling their catalog from either iTunes or Amazon… Basically the indies are saying you need to have big pockets to be in the game.

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