Feeds

Indies walk out on eMusic

Beggars, Domino desert download service

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Heavyweight independent labels including Beggars Group, Domino and Merge are pulling their catalogues from eMusic at short notice, in a major blow to the download service.

Between them they own the rights to many of the most popular independent acts. eMusic subscribers received an email overnight explaining that the cataloguess would be unavailable "as of Nov.18, 2010, pending further discussions".

"This is as heartbreaking to us as it is to you. Please know we have done everything we could to keep them from leaving," the email continues. eMusic's 400,000 subscribers are being offered an additional 10 free songs for the next month.

eMusic has flown the flag for independents and lauds itself as the "cheaper, cooler cousin" of iTunes. Its insistence, since its reinvention in 2003, on DRM-free downloads meant the majors shunned it, and refused to license their catalogues.

But with new financing and management eMusic is in the middle of a transition in its signed major label deals, and is increasing its prices significantly for new members. Sony and Universal Music have signed up, although UK subscribers haven't got access to those catalogues yet.

eMusic's great strengths were offering a good value bundle - if you used your credits - no DRM, and a wide range of independent music. Now DRM has disappeared from music downloads, that's no longer a differentiator, and a recent move replaced credits with a per-track cost.

The Beggars Group encompasses labels XL Recordings, Matador and 4AD, and scored the first indie number one album in the USA for 20 years this year. Domino Acts soon to disappear include Dizzee Rascal, The xx, MIA, Basement Jaxx, Animal Collective, Caribou and Sigur Rós. eMusic needs that music more than the labels need eMusic.

A pioneer before the first dot.com bubble burst, eMusic was acquired by equity firm Dimensional Associates, which also owns The Orchard distributor, and relaunched eMusic in 2003. It's going to be hard to move it in its current state - a subscription without a clear differentiator, and with huge gaps in its offering. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
NATO declares WAR on Google Glass, mounts attack alongside MPAA
Yes, the National Association of Theater Owners is quite upset
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
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.
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.