updated 03:45 pm EDT, Wed July 16, 2008
eMusic Adds Web Social
eMusic will try to improve its standing against iTunes and fellow web-based store Amazon MP3 soon by adding a social component to the music, the music service's chief David Pakman tells Fortune. Taking advantage of the need to buy music through the web portal, eMusic hopes to draw in buyers by providing deeper and constantly changing artist info through Web 2.0 sites. Musicians will frequently have Wikipedia pages for their biographies as well as relevant Flickr photo albums and YouTube videos.
Individual pieces of music can also be shared through several Web 2.0 sites, including web bookmarking site del.icio.us as well as Digg, Facebook, and Twitter. The aim is to make eMusic relevant for an audience that would otherwise link to bootlegs on blogs and elsewhere to get the same material, Pakman says.
The online store has enjoyed modest success but has typically struggled to break through as a major competitor to iTunes, handing out roughly 200 million downloads in four years versus the five billion sold by iTunes since 2003. eMusic has often been touted as the least expensive MP3-based store through the unusual choice of a subscription model but has often encountered stiff resistance from major labels, many of which insist either on higher rates or copy protection.