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eMusic cracks 250m song mark

updated 12:30 pm EST, Thu November 20, 2008

eMusic Hits 250m Songs

Veteran online music store eMusic today said it has registered its 250 millionth download since its subscription service began in 2003. The company is one of the few outside of Apple to reach the milestone and is owed partly to eMusic's business model, which offers unprotected MP3s compatible with Apple and Microsoft players but uses a subscription model which guarantees a certain number of songs at rates that typically fall well below the 99 cents per track found at iTunes and other stores. An entry $12 monthly plan gives users 30 downloads per month, or about 40 cents per song.

The store also focuses heavily on independents rather than major labels, most of which still have yet to sign on despite a recent shift towards unprotected music. eMusic's catalog is relatively small at 4.5 million songs but compares closely to other stores like those from Amazon and Walmart that have similar scale but shift towards major publishers.

eMusic has a relatively small subscriber base of about 400,000 users but has regularly been profitable through its recurring fees. Its absence of rollover for song quotas also lets it pocket the income from unpurchased tracks and compensate for its bulk pricing.

By contrast, Apple has sold more than five billion songs since opening its own store the same year as eMusic but only generates revenue when customers buy music. The company regularly describes iTunes as a loss leader meant to spur sales of iPhones and iPods. [via TechCrunch]



By Electronista Staff
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  1. jhawk95

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2006

    +1

    Is This Relevant?

    Ok, so let's get this straight!

    400,000 customers who download a minimum of 30 songs each (entry level plan... so others can download more)= 12,000,000 songs downloaded monthly if each user is a base user and downloads their quota.

    So, 12,000,000 per month means it only takes 20 months to get to the 250,000,000 songs.

    It is not like their customers paid 99 cents each for 250 million songs.

    So as an investor and when comparing this to iTunes (if you even can) the only relavant piece of data here is that they have 400,000 customers forking over $12 a month.

  1. Bengt77

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2003

    0

    Inverstors? Bah!

    Does everything have to be about investors? I'm sick and tired of the investor-centric economy. Concerning that, I'm glad the current crisis is here. Here's to hoping the economy will soon be about economics again.

  1. horvatic

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2002

    -6

    Misleading 40 cents

    "which offers unprotected MP3s compatible with Apple and Microsoft players but uses a subscription model which guarantees a certain number of songs at rates that typically fall well below the 99 cents per track found at iTunes and other stores."
    Except for one little detail they left out as with all subscription models. You stop paying your monthly bill and your music goes away, ALL OF IT!!! GARBAGE!!
    And you keep paying over and over for that music you already have, so where is the savings? I buy at 99 cents and I don't ever pay again at the iTunes store for that same song. It's mine, no monthly charge ever. That is where you will save.

  1. cmoney

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2000

    0

    wrong horvatic

    in this case, eMusic uses MP3s which means they're completely free of any future dependencies on the company.

    and unless you're buying only iTunes Plus songs (which are DRM free) there's still the possibility (albeit tiny) that a situation could arise where you can't access your music because at the very least, you still need to activate a new device. on top of that, DRMed iTunes only works with Apple products.

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    -3

    things don't add up

    I have 2 points, firstly while these are MP3 and there is no technical reason to delete them when you stop paying your subscription, you are meant to. You don't own those songs, if you stop paying and fail to delete them it's the same as piracy.

    secondly, if you presume an average subscriber level of 300,000 since 2003 and times that by the subscription dollars, you have approx how much people have paid. Now divide that by the 250 mil downloads for the real per track cost:
    $3.75. This of obviously an rough figure but I think closer than 40c quoted.

  1. luckyday

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008

    0

    You're all wrong.

    You're totally wrong about their subscription format. You own the songs when you download them. Although you pay monthly, you are purchasing the songs as if you'd buy them on itunes, minus the DRM. Not really your fault though, as usual the writers here don't know how to write properly.

    If you listen to something other than mainstream c***, e-music is great. Although they have a pretty good selection on itunes, the price on emusic is great. Plus DRM free is great.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -1

    subscriptions

    Except for one little detail they left out as with all subscription models. You stop paying your monthly bill and your music goes away, ALL OF IT!!! GARBAGE!!

    And there's your problem (and most people's with subscription models). They somehow think that the music they download is 'theirs'. It isn't your music. You're renting the music.

    Now, if you're one of those people who just listen to the same 50 albums over and over again, it is a bad deal. But if you like to try NEW music constantly, it is a lot better to rent (and buy that which you really like) rather than go nuts, buy all the albums of Molly Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers now, and then realize 6 months from now you hate them, and you just wasted 50 dollars on music you'll never listen to again.

    And People rent movies. People have a Netflix subsciption. They get movies, watch them, and return them. Can you believe that, after cancelling Netflix, you have no more access to their library?

    And before you say "But video is different!", it isn't different. Its just how you look at it. You look at music as something you must own in order to listen to, so you feel it must be yours.

    Look at a subscription as the ability to test drive thousands of songs a month, and decide whether the music is worth buying, without forking over the money upfront and find out they're a c*** band with two good songs on the album.

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