eMusic: Prices Went Up, But Artists Aren't Seeing Any Of That Cash

from the it-all-goes-to-Sony? dept

You may recall quite a lot of attention paid last summer to eMusic's decision to raise prices at the exact same time that it added its first major label music (from Sony Music) to its service. This, understandably, pissed off a lot of people. Many people used eMusic because it focused on indie artists rather than the majors, and to find out that their prices were being jacked up to accommodate a major just didn't seem right. Of course, eMusic tried to claim that this was a "good thing" and also (har har) that the price increase had nothing to do with Sony. Even if true, announcing the two together was obviously a mistake. Of course, eMusic kept making things worse and worse by censoring critics (and then lying about doing so) while also quietly taking away features without letting people know. The whole thing was a mess.

Of course, if eMusic is charging more, you might think that at least the musicians who use the service are getting paid more. Think again. Musicians on eMusic are upset to discover that despite the price increase, they're still making the same amount. So now, not only has eMusic pissed off its users, but also musicians as well. At least Sony Music is happy.

This is really too bad. eMusic was a leader in offering DRM-free music, as well as a major supporter of independent music early on. It also had a reputation for being consumer-friendly and accessible to both customers and musicians. I guess all that is going out the window, though.

Filed Under: emusic, musicians
Companies: emusic

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  1. icon
    snarkosaurus (profile), 7 Jan 2010 @ 5:19pm

    No surprise

    A few years ago, eMusic decided to change their plans. Before the change, the price was $19.99 for 90 downloads per month. The new pricing was $19.99 for 75 downloads per month. Other plans had similar drops, but this is the one I remember.

    They grandfathered in their existing customers, but tried very hard to get us to switch to the new plan by asking us to "upgrade" our accounts. There was absolutely no value added with the new pricing, and it was purely a downgrade, yet we got fairly heavy pressure to agree to the new pricing.

    I canceled my account a while ago, after the genre of music that I prefer got completely overrun by trash masquerading ad substance.

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