It could be another difficult year for eMusic. Over the weekend, we heard rumblings of layoffs, and just this morning, the company confirmed a dump-off of 9 employees. The pare-down happened in early January, according to eMusic Director of PR and Communications Tiffany Guarnaccia, who was eager to downplay the significance. "We made some minimal changes that affected nine members of our staff two weeks ago," Guarnaccia told Digital Music News.
The company currently counts 70 employees, which puts the pare-down at about 11 percent. In other words, not catastrophic, though also not a sign of healthy, continued growth. One laid-off employees is continuing as a consultant, according to the company.
The move closely follows a significant site relaunch and another restrategization, though it seems this company is struggling to establish its presence and attract serious subscribers. Part of the problem could be positioning: in 2009, eMusic decided to branch away from its indie-focused niche, though adding major label content was expensive and potentially alienating to the core subscriber. In late 2010, an eMusic executive pointed Digital Music News to a subscriber total of 400,000, which represented zero growth since 2007.
This time around, eMusic is refusing to disclose its subscriber numbers, which seems to raise even more flags. That tight-lipped stance suggests that eMusic is still struggling with zero or negative subscriber growth, a situation potentially exacerbated by Spotify and broader economic pressures.
brooklyn vegan Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Those guys are still going? Emusic jumped the shark years ago.
Maxwellian Tuesday, January 17, 2012
I don't think Spotify really has anything to do with this --- yeah it's blowing up but eMusic lost their niche.
@MusicIdeaz Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Things don't seem to be going so well at eMusic...
SeanO Tuesday, January 17, 2012
It's a miracle you get any stories the way you treat company spokespeople. What company hasn't laid off staff in today's economy??
STeve Andre' Tuesday, January 17, 2012
I was a subscriber for several years, and loved it when it was a place where more off beat music was to be had, and I wallowed in it, getting folkish stuff, jazz, electronica, classical and more. It was a wonderful and tasty ocean.
Adding the major labels killed it, for me. a 50% rise in pricing plus variable pricing for "better" things just wasn't... Emusic.
I fondly listen to my little horde of Emusic MP3s. Would that it went back to those great days.
--STeve Andre' email@example.com
golfingdude Wednesday, January 18, 2012
I have been with Emusic since dirt, and though I don't bemoan there change to providing more mainstream music, I do think they have made serious mistakes. They cannot compete with the likes of Itunes, Rhapsody, or Amazon since those 3 already pretty much have solidified their market base. Those 3 have almost the same price structure, available content, and download policies. Emusic has sought to compete against them but without offering anything new, and in many cases offering less. Emusic's download may be slightly less expensive but so is the quality of their downloads in many cases. They have so much music available only if an entire cd is purchased, that it forces its members to seek alternative sources to purchase a single track of music versus a whole cd. They used to allow members unlimited downloads of purchased music, which I had to take advantage of a few times back in the day because of computer crashes, and limited hard drive space. Unless Emusic decides to play by their own rules instead of the competition's they will soon be history like Sony's betamax. It is too bad since Emusic could really become a leader if they just thought out of the box.
mailman Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Emusic.com management has been killing the site for years. Perhaps, just maybe, if the people running the company actually knew anything about music things woud be going better. The bean counters have been slowly poisoning this company.
G-Spot Wednesday, January 18, 2012
@thinklikealabel Thursday, January 19, 2012
Not a surprise at all, if I worked there I would be scrambling for another job.