eMusic has dropped it's paid subscription requirement to allow anyone to purchase tracks and albums ala cart at it's online store. With some discounting of older releases, most music is priced at or near the industry standard of $.99 per track, hit singles at $1.29 and full albuums for $9.99. Subscription plans that offer from 24 to 73 tracks monthly for $11.99 to $31.99 are also still available.
eMusic execs tipped the change at several recent music and tech conferences. Dropping the paywall is an attempt to bring new life to a brand launched in 1998 and loosing relevence as streaming music takes center stage.
"A number of major players have already taken interest in eMusic's new business model, which is making the brand more flexible and easier to partner with than ever before," said eMusic CEO Adam Klein in a statement. "We are in talks with potential partners in the OEM market, and also with wireless and cable operators, as well as big box retailers."
eMusic has also invested in editorial curation and design in recent years; and maintains a subscriber base of hard core music fans. Their hope now is to attract a broader audience.
"For nearly 14 years, eMusic has been devoted to music collectors who support artists and labels by purchasing their albums," Klein said. "Although our focus on this audience hasn't changed, our new business model is more inclusive and invites everyone to engage with what eMusic offers: insightful editorial that we curate independent of our sales division, and personalized discovery technology that draws upon the diverse tastes of our unique eMusic community."
Readers: Will you buy tracks at the new eMusic?