How Universal made eMusic its bitch.

I woke up yesterday to find an interesting email from eMusic.
Mark your calendars because in November 2010, eMusic is adding more than 250,000 tracks from Universal Music Group to its catalog, the single largest addition ever!
By adding from Universal's catalog eMusic ensures becoming one of the largest music retailers in the internet. The additions of artists include U2, PJ Harvey, Jay-Z and many more. According to insiders companies like EMI, Warner and Sony might all join eMusic depending on the outcome.

But first, eMusic has to change. It has to change their credit system to a per song charge.

Currently, a $11.99 membership will get the user 30 credits.

Every song is worth 1 credit - making the per song cost to $.40.

The new pricing plan
* $0.49 for most tracks currently in our catalog.
* $0.69 - $0.79 for more popular content.
* $0.89 for tracks that generally sell for $1.29 at iTunes.
Right of the bat there will be a $.09 price increase per song.

Currently, most albums cost 10 - 12 credits, which translates to $4 - $4.80. A lot of the albums range from 12-15 tracks. With the new pricing plan each album will costs from $5.19 - $8.99.

What makes eMusic

There are various things that make eMusic a great place to look for music.
1. It's cheap.
2. A lot of independent labels and artists.
3. It's not about what the label wants you to hear, but about the music.
4. Majority of the stuff is not on a top 10 rotation.
5. It makes it fun to discover new artists.

The partnership with Universal makes it evident that record labels can dictate the way eMusic runs its operation. The Universal catalogs come at large price for those who seek bargains - a minimum of 20% price increase per track and album.

Then again, this could be a way for eMusic to become more profitable and let the record labels take the heat while they reek the benefits of new members who seek the popular mainstream catalogs at a cheaper price than iTunes.

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