updated 11:40 am EDT, Mon April 14, 2008
eMusic Passes 200m
Web-based music service eMusic today celebrated a milestone with its 200 millionth song download. The figure was reached approximately four and a half years after the store's November 2003 launch of its MP3-based subscription service but is touted as having been accomplished without the help of most major labels, relying chiefly on independents for its content. By comparison, Apple is known to have sold more than four billion songs since launching iTunes in April of 2003.
While a fraction the size of some larger stores, eMusic also claims to be growing at a much more accelerated rate than it has been in the past. The launch of Amazon MP3 has purportedly helped drive awareness of eMusic and is responsible for about 40 million of the company's total download statistics; since the September unveiling of its rival, eMusic has supplied roughly 7 million tracks per month.
The sales tally suggests a continued surge in sales of unprotected music, particularly for services that offer most if not all of their catalogs without DRM limits. While eMusic is one of the earliest such stores, Amazon has already reached second place among digital-only services despite higher per-song costs than eMusic and no current support for sales outside of the US. Its early success has largely been attributed to offering music from all four major labels without DRM.