Feeds

Indies walk out on eMusic

Beggars, Domino desert download service

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.