(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
customers, features


Even More eMusic Features Disabled?

from the anti-fan-is-not-a-good-thing dept

This is really unfortunate. eMusic used to be a great example of how treating customers right and with respect and trust could win over more customers -- but in the last month or so, it seems like the company is throwing all that out the window and pissing off customers left and right. Beyond the big price increase at the same time as signing its first major record label (bad PR to announce both together), the company has censored critics and removed the feature that let you redownload songs you'd purchased before, at your convenience. However, now we're hearing that there were a bunch of other features that were removed as well. An anonymous reader notes:
"July 1 was the first day in the Sony era over at eMusic. Despite published interviews with eMusic executives, FAQs on the eMusic web site and messages from eMusic employees on the eMusic forums attempting to clarify the new pricing structure, there were quite a few surprises. Some of the changes I've noticed (or read about in the forums) include:
  • Certain tracks can only be downloaded with "paid" credits, not the free credits eMusic hands out for trial memberships.
  • Individual track downloads disabled for tracks longer than 10 minutes - you must download the entire album
  • Certain (popular) sub-10-minute tracks disabled for individual download
  • No downloading individual discs in multi-disc sets
  • Most new albums use 12-credit album pricing (very few reports of 6 or 9 credit album pricing)
  • Many (a significant portion in the classical section at least) albums with fewer than 12 tracks cost 12 credits
  • Many albums previously available on eMusic have been re-priced (in some cases, tracks available for 1 credit on June 30 now require 12 credits)
IMO, the fact that eMusic did such a poor job communicating these important changes suggests that they deliberately withheld (or downplayed) this information, possibly to keep from fueling the outrage generated from last month's Sony/pricing announcement."
This seems like an increasing disaster. Hopefully some of these changes are mistakes, rather than permanent. But the way this whole situation has been handled is going to make a terrific case study in how not to do PR. eMusic has turned from a company that customers really loved into one that many seem to hate... and it's happened in an incredibly short time frame. That's really unfortunate.

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  1. icon
    ConceptJunkie (profile), 2 Jul 2009 @ 7:41pm

    eMusic succumbs to stupidity

    I was browsing the jazz section and saw an album with 3 tracks, totalling about 39 minutes, which is a really short album. 12 credits to download.

    This is insane. If it were a 78 minute album, I could see that, but this is half the length of a CD but they are arbitrarily charging the same as they would for twice as much material.

    I was a dedicated and enthusiastic customer for eMusic for 3 and a half years, and did everything I could to promote them on online forums and by word of mouth.

    I no longer feel it's appropriate to promote them and I am considering cancelling my subscription soon.

    Thanks eMusic. I can promise you will lose a ton of loyal customers, especially the kind that reject iTunes and Napster, etc. I guess the only bad thing you _haven't_ done is adopt DRM, and at the rate things are going, I wouldn't be surprised to see that. It seems you've sold out to Sony and the losers will be the indie groups and their fans.

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