Wednesday, November 17, 2010

eMusic waves goodbye to several indies

eMusic's unique selling point used to be that it offered a download home to the less corporate end of the label high street - a good first stopping-off point for what used to be known as indie.

Not any more. For even as eMusic adds a quarter of a million Universal tracks to its database, it's telling subscribers to grab indie stuff while they can:

As we prepare for the largest catalog addition ever to eMusic in the US - 250,000 new tracks! - and make it possible for similar additions in the UK, Europe and Canada, we want to be up front with our loyal indie fans and provide advance notice that music from Domino, Merge and the Beggars Group family of labels will no longer be available on eMusic as of Nov. 18, 2010 pending further discussion. Many of you who have downloaded or music or saved for later from these labels will be receiving an email shortly with these same details.

This is as heartbreaking to us as it is to you. Please know we have done everything we could to keep them from leaving. Forging deals with our label partners can be pretty complex. As many of you know, labels have come and gone over the years, and we hope to see these labels back soon. You can add your voice here to help us bring them back. For more info, see our FAQs.

In the meantime, we encourage you to get the music you love from these labels at a great price before November 18 - music from artists like Arcade Fire, Spoon, The National, Vampire Weekend, The xx, She & Him, Caribou, Titus Andronicus, and Deerhunter, to name a few.

We understand that you may not have enough downloads before your next refresh date to get everything you want. In that case, we invite you to get a booster pack.
Yes, you did read that right - eMusic are boldly trying to make extra sales off the back of dumping a lot of its core content. That shows they have chutzpah. Even if they don't have 4AD any more.

But does losing the sort of stuff that defined eMusic mean that it has somehow lost it's soul?

Do you know, eMusic are glad we asked that:
For those of you wondering if this means eMusic is losing its focus, rest assured, we're still the place you go to find the records that hover under the radar, records that represent clear artistic vision - and the records that we find inspiring on both major and indie labels, regardless of how many albums were sold. Let us prove it to you!
It's like listening to a paunchy fortysomething pretending to still be the guy he was in college - "nothing's changed, I still support social change; it's just sometimes I have to deny protesters' applications to march in Parliament Square from time to time."


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

It was a cheap shot by them, but I can't quite figure out what your beef with eMusic is? They do promote independent music and i've found loads of great music (none of it on 4AD or Beggars). Of course the links on your website point to Amazon, the epitome of integrity.

simon h b said...

I don't have a "beef" with eMusic, I just think it's a bit disappointing that they think that a quarter of a million tracks from Universal is a better fit for what they do than having 4AD & Beggars & Domino.

I use Amazon, by the way, because they sell records rather than subscriptions, and when you're listing new releases, that seems to be more use than providing a link to sign up for a subscription.

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