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eMusic could profit from Apple's deal

updated 08:50 am EDT, Fri April 6, 2007

eMusic Profit on Apple

Online music shop eMusic may stand to benefit from Apple's deal to drop DRM on EMI music, according to Crave. Although iTunes will only begin offering protection-free music beginning in May, eMusic has depended on unguarded MP3 files as part of its business model. The decision by EMI could draw attention to eMusic's subscription-based service, which offers a set number of downloads per month.

The move may also pave the way for the store to sell its first music from a major label. EMI has so far refrained from announcing any deals beyond that with Apple but has openly invited other stores to adopt similar plans, including for different music standards such as MP3 and WMA.

The alternative store could also lure the most frequent iTunes purchasers away through its recently unveiled Connoisseur plans, Crave's Donald Bell says. While Apple's music service and other a-la-carte stores automatically escalate in overall cost with increased downloads, the new eMusic strategies assume a flat rate up to as many as 300 songs per month. The model lets the store offer songs for as little as 25 cents each, according to eMusic.

Apple has to date declined a subscription model, but has primarily argued against DRM-based subscriptions that forced owners to "rent" music and thus lose their existing access once the subscription ends.

by MacNN Staff




  1. jhorvatic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Emusic sells unknowns

    The problem with this story is Emusic sells unknown artists, amatures while iTunes sells top 10 artists that everyone knows and usually wants to purchase. Emusic has been around for a long time and has had no effect on iTunes sales even before this announcement and I doubt it will change in the future.

  1. jhorvatic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Renting music doesn't wor

    Renting music doesn't work. Proven over and over again. It's a waste of money and once you stop you lose everything you collected. The value and hastle of renting music from online stores is not worth the price. You could download there whole music catalog but would you actually be able to listen to all of it? You can't transfer it to an MP3 player without paying extra on top of what you pay to rent the music so this renting stuff isn't worth it. Can't burn CD's either.

  1. UberFu

    Joined: Dec 1969


    has anyone noticed...

    during all of this where governments and people are screaming at Apple to open their closed iTMS / iPod model - but yet no one is bitching about Microsoft making their WMA/MWV files compatible with Quicktime or iTunes ?

    Not that I really care - 'cause I typically find everything I need thru AAC and MP3 formatting - I just realiszed that no one is having a temper-tantrum on the other side of the fence_


  1. NwX08

    Joined: Dec 1969


    eMusic: You own the music

    eMusic does not rent music. It grants you access to their catalog with a set number of unprotected songs available for download each month (that number varies based on your subscription plan). Once you purchase a song, it's yours forever; free to played on any device you wish. I used to be a member. It was quite enjoyable.

    When I was a member you had 30 songs a month (the lowest plan, I believe). That is 3 albums worth almost (depending on the artist) for $10 a piece on iTunes. When using eMusic I felt more free to experiment with other genres because I knew that if I downloaded a particular song I did not like, I had 29 others I could still download that month and I would not have to pay anything each time. Whereas with iTunes I am more picky because I know that a song is 1 dollar I don't want to waste. Why the difference? Interface/User experience.

    On iTunes I am remind of the price before I have access to it (not a bad thing). Whereas with eMusic, it is just a download with out a transaction (your monthly bill hits the credit card). It is a mental thing, but for me it definitely shaped my music consumption habits.

    Furthermore, when I was a member they would let you re-download any track you already purchased without it affecting your monthly download quota. That is great if you happen to lose your files before you can back them up or if you want to store your songs on more than one computer relatively easily. Your music was your music, regardless of where you were.

    While present day popular artists are not common within their store, past greats, such as Jazz legends (Ellington, Coletrain, Gillespie, Carter, etc.) are quite prolific.

    Overall, when it comes to how people want their music to be used, I think eMusic is on to something... iTunes is defintiely a first-rate a-la-carté, while eMusic is a humble but filling buffet. Interestingly enough, I have more than enough room for both in my diet.

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