Feeds

eMusic doubles prices, snares Sony

And faces a mighty backlash

High performance access to file storage

Pioneer music service eMusic has finally snagged a major label in Sony - but was it worth it?

On the back of the announcement there's a hard kick in the nuts for loyal subscribers: bundles have been cut and prices raised, leaving customers with half or a third of the download power they previously enjoyed.

eMusic offers DRM-free independent music with a fixed download allowance per month. The Sony deal brings back catalogue more than two years old from labels such as Columbia and RCA (such as Bruce Springstreen, The Clash and David Bowie) into the fold.

Sony's catalogue doesn't arrive until later this year - but the new deals represent a much poorer deal for subscribers. For example, the UK Basic plan now permits 24 downloads per month for £9.99 (42p per track), and a Premium of 30 per month for £17.99 (38p per track). That's half the value of the deals available at launch just three years ago, when £14.99 bought you 90 tracks per month - or 17p per track.

Booster packs, which allow subscribers to exceed the monthly allowance, have also changed: a 50 song extension goes up from £14.99 to £20.99. In the US, deals have changed from 40 for $10 when eMusic was relaunched in 2003, to 24 for $12.

(Yes, UK punters are ripped off by 50 per cent compared to Stateside music fans.)

The new price schedule is appallingly timed, with a global recession and services such as Datz, MusicStation and Nokia Comes With Music offering the freedom to explore large music catalogues. Spotify, which is free, is reviving interest in on-demand streaming.

eMusic has around 400,000 subscribers who provide $70m of annual revenue, according to stand-in CEO Danny Stein, who runs the investment company which acquired eMusic six years ago.

In a message board post, eMusic's Cathy Halgas Nevins responded:

"The Great Recession of 2009 is not the best time to be doing this. We own up to that. However, we - and our labels - simply cannot sustain some of the lowest cost plans that many of you currently have. The price increase is not just about Sony, it is for all of our labels, including the ones that have left over the years and those we have yet to sign." ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.