Digital Music

Who Is Number 2? eMusic #’s vs. Amazon $’s

Earlier this week USA Today crowned Amazon the #2 seller of downloads after iTunes.  Amazon refuses to release sales figures; so the newspaper based its claim on the calls to the four major record labels.

But eMusic only offers music from indies and with downloads of "more than 7,000,000 songs per month", they claim the #2 crown. "…let’s get one thing straight: outside of iTunes, no one sells more music digitally than eMusic, and we don’t plan on giving up that title anytime soon," eMusic CEO David Packman declared yesterday on the company’s blog.


Packman is probably right that eMusic delivers more tracks by volume than Amazon.  But who delivers more revenue to the the labels and artists?

Overall, counting both major and indies, its probably Amazon. After all, they pay out 60-65 cents per track compared to eMusic’s subscription model which delivers around 30 cents not including free tracks that they give away to lure subscribers.  Several indie labels in recent months have even said that their checks from Amazon are starting to exceed those from eMusic.

Who is #2?  Like most things, it depends on who you’re asking.

MORE: The DRM-Free March Has Stalled. Who’s To Blame? Are roadblocks coming from iTunes and or the major labels? and Does eMusic’s Math Work For Labels? 

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  1. eMusic has 30,000 labels, I am sure you could find “several” who would say that. Cmon man, I think you’ve just got it in for eMusic who in my opinion and the opinion of many others offers an outstanding service, no data whatsoever except from ‘the majors’ to back this one up! I wonder why!

  2. On my emusic subscription plan I pay about 22c per track. So the indies can’t be seeing much revenue from there.

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