Feeds

eMusic doubles prices, snares Sony

And faces a mighty backlash

Security for virtualized datacentres

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." ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.