It's hard to say exactly where eMusic took a wrong turn, though perhaps the space is slowly congealing around the heaviest-hitters like iTunes, Spotify, Sirius, YouTube, and Pitchfork. That, coupled with seemingly-unlimited (and often free) discovery sources, makes curated plays like eMusic seem fragile and difficult to grow.
Which is why we're unsurprised to hear more stories of attrition at eMusic. Earlier this week, an ex-eMusic employee informed Digital Music News of another small bloodletting, specifically of 6-7 employees, and named at least one ousted person. That we could quickly confirm, as well as another individual who pointed to 'drib-drab' layoffs without getting into specifics.
We followed up with eMusic quite directly on this issue, and received a classic, non-answer answer (you get paid well to come up with answers like these).
Which, translated from PR-ese, basically sounds like, 'yeah, we chopped a few people, now go away...' An issue related to some shifts in the company's New York office space also came up, though the company assured us that there wasn't anything out of the ordinary with these moves.
Perhaps most importantly, the first source noted that subscriber levels are also dropping substantially. Roughly one year ago, an eMusic representative confirmed that subscriber growth had remained flat for four full years, stuck at 400,000. Now, that seems bullish: the latest information suggests something closer to 250,000 paying subscribers, though this time, eMusic flatly declined to share any subscriber specifics.
Since the initial publication of this story, a reliable source has shared a subscriber tally closer to 275,000. We'll hopefully have more details ahead.
Casey Wednesday, August 01, 2012
Good. Emusic deserves to die after they ruined the site. It wasn't the major label content that ruined the site, it was bad management. The inability to separate their indie collection from the major label music. I tried to use the site after they renovated it and not only had they simply swallowed my prepaid amount and not told me prior to doing it, but they had lost my saved favorites and made it impossible to find them again. At that point I simply said screw it. Stealing customer's money and making the service harder to use are two things a service should never do.
Jugador Wednesday, August 01, 2012
It's not that hard to say. It was when they started moving away from their niche market, imposing changes on pricing schemes, and losing indie labels left, right and center. If they'd stuck to their knitting I would still be with them.
Pat Wednesday, August 01, 2012
I agree with the others. It's not hard to figure out exactly where eMusic took a wrong turn.
"Can We Still Be Friends? Domino, Merge, Beggars Dumping eMusic..."
Jim Thursday, August 02, 2012
Hate to be an echo, but there is nothing difficult at all about seeing where eMusic went wrong. In fact, with a little research you could probably nail down an exact date when the ship turned left.
Paradox Thursday, August 02, 2012
I bet some eMusic subscribers left for the "streaming" alternative.
Why pay for eMusic Basic package of $11.99 a month for 24 downloads when you can pay Spotify, Rhapsody, Muve Music, Rdio, MOG $10 a month for access to millions of songs?
$11.99/month for 24 MP3
$9.99/month for access to millions of songs
For some, the first option is a better alternative. But I suspect for many, the second option is a better deal.
tippysdemise Thursday, August 02, 2012
this. pretty simple.
mike Wednesday, August 08, 2012
ill comparison. emusic gives you 24 unencoded mp3s with which you do as you please. spotify is strictly streaming from only their apps and arent yours to keep. additionally they can disappear at any time.
the seer Thursday, August 02, 2012
"It's hard to say exactly where eMusic took a wrong turn.."
Ahem- Jusrt like MySpace, LimeWire too, they had the chance to hire me to run the place in 2007 and went in "another direction." Karma baby.
mdti Thursday, August 02, 2012
haha, yes that is spot on :-)
LostInDigital Thursday, August 02, 2012
wallow-T Friday, August 03, 2012
As a sometimes buyer of indie MP3 files, I wonder if Amazon's push into the MP3 sales space hasn't doomed eMusic. Amazon's standard price of $8.99 for an "album" is not that much more expensive than eMusic's complicated track-based subscription cost, and it's a lot more convenient, especially if one already shops Amazon regularly for books, CDs, videos and household geegaws.
The few eMusic customers I knew dropped eMusic after the price hikes which followed the major label signings.
Versus Sunday, August 05, 2012
Emusic went wrong by diluting the quality of their content with mainstream major-label mindnumbing pop pablum, and raising their prices to near iTunes levels.
trilam Monday, August 06, 2012
I was grand-fathered at a great old rate of something like $15 per month for 50 downloads.
Even at that price per download, I couldn't resist Rdio at $10 per month for everything I could ever want, without having to wait for my account to reload at the end of the month.
I do miss the discovery and editorial, but I suppose I can go back for that as a non-subscriber then go get what I find on Rdio.
Hoosier Wednesday, August 08, 2012
I also was grandfathered in at a good rate, but those who are not are paying prices too close to premium.
Plus, EMusic has always had some real flaws, particularly in search functions.