Online store open to all, subscriptions provide discounts
Music retailer eMusic has removed the subscription requirement in order to buy music from it's online store. The announcement by CEO Adam Klein brings eMusic in line with other online music stores in not charging customers a monthly fee just to be able to download songs, something that opens up the 14-year-old store to more potential customers.
PMN and Archos to sell cheap tablets for service
Philadelphia Media Network outlined its previously hinted plans to offer subsdizied tablets. The project will see 5,000 of Archos' Arnova 10 G2 tablets made available with a heavy discount depending on the subscription. The cheap Android slate will cost as little as $99 if bought with a two-year contract subscription to the Daily News and Inquirer costing $10 a month; the price rises to $129 for those who only want to commit for one year but are willing to pay a more standard $13 a month.
MOG content now available on Sonos hardware
As expected, the MOG music service is now available on connected home gear from Sonos. The 320kbps, ad-free MOG streams are available on an on-demand basis or from a customized station. All Sonos customers in the US are getting a 14-day trial of MOG on Sonos.
Deal brings access to 15,000 albums
eMusic has announced that it has signed a deal with EMI Music to expand the range of content available through the latter company's subscription-based music service. The deal is said to enable eMusic subscribers to access over 15,000 new albums from a range of artists such as Radiohead, the Beastie Boys, Brian Eno, Hot Chip, and LCD Soundsystem, among others.
Leaks show labels unhappy with Spotify revenues
Spotify's revenues for music labels are just a fraction of what the studios see at other stores, a contentious rumor maintained on Friday. After reportedly talking to both the labels and bands, Metronome saw a mixed opinion on the streaming service. The most critical label executive called Spotify's revenues "microscopic" compared to iTunes, Amazon MP3 or even eMusic, and thought it was borderline "scandal" that it was even allowed.
eMusic changes to pay-per-track to fight iTunes
eMusic has this weekend changed its pricing model to get major labels and more directly compete with Apple's iTunes and Amazon MP3. The deal drops eMusic's distinctive bulk song credits in favor of a variable price, pay per track model that finally adds wider access to major label music, including current music from Sony and Warner as well as year-old music from Universal. Most independent music will still cost the equivalent of the base song credit plan, at 49 cents per song, but will see major label songs sell for 69 to 89 cents.
Pantech Link to launch at AT&T on April 18th
Pantech announced on Friday that its Link handset will be available from AT&T starting on April 18th. The device will fall under AT&T's quick messaging phones, thanks to its full hardware QWERTY keyboard and web browser. The device is unusually slim for the price and category at less than 0.4 inches thick and sports a 2.4-inch screen with a 320x240 resolution.
eMusic plans recovery with label deal
eMusic on Tuesday said it has signed a deal with Warner Music Group to add the latter's music collection to its subscription download service. The deal echoes one landed with Sony last year and will give eMusic about 10,000 albums. However, as with the 2009 agreement, the terms only include back catalog titles and exclude newer releases.
iTunes only store seeing visit growth
iTunes is the only music store seeing a significant boost to the number of purchases at its shop, online banking site Mint notes in a recent look at its own data. While those visiting Apple's music store have always bought more frequently, shopping about 2 to 2.5 times a month, the introduction of variable pricing in April has actually led to customers now buying an average of nearly 3.5 times a month as of July. In contrast, none of its competitors have ventured significantly past 1.5 visits.
Google Music Search uses iLike, Lala
Google at a Los Angeles event tonight unveiled its widely expected advanced music search feature. The addition (a video of which is available below) automatically parses regular searches for music from all four major labels and automatically filters it by artist, album or track; users can then either sample or buy the tracks through Lala or MySpace's iLike. Those who use recommendation-based Internet streaming service like iMeem, Pandora or Rhapsody can also find related music.
Sony, eMusic strike a deal
Sony Music and online digital music retailer eMusic announced on Monday that music that is more than two years old from the record label will be added to eMusic's online store. While specifics of the deal were not disclosed, a direct result of it will see eMusic raise its prices slightly and reduce the number of downloads in its monthly plans. The classic recordings from Sony Music labels that include Columbia, RCA, and Jive, as well as artists such as Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, and Johnny Cash, will be added to eMusic's catalog in the third quarter of the year.
Verizon MP3 Music on Web
Verizon this afternoon chose CTIA as the venue to launch MP3 music downloads on its media store. The move brings about 5 million of the unprotected tracks and complements the ringtones that have dominated the company's web store in the past. Buying tracks doesn't require using a Verizon phone and thus lets buyers put songs on iPods or other general media-capable hardware.
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.
LG Incite at ATT
AT&T today added a second full touchscreen phone in as many weeks through the LG Incite. Unlike the earlier Samsung Eternity, the Incite is a full Windows Mobile 6.1 smartphone and comes with an LG-customized front end that both encourages more use of finger input over a stylus and takes advantage of an accelerometer to provide a landscape keyboard when tilting the phone on its side.
iTunes/Pure Play deal
Apple has signed a deal which should see over 1.5 million new songs added to the iTunes Store, reports say. The company has forged an agreement with Pure Play Music, a site which specializes in hosting artists that are otherwise unsigned. The site currently lists a roster of over 6,000 artists from around the world, who operate under a set of non-exclusive rights agreements.
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.
RIAA on DRM Revival
Regardless of the movement towards permanent unprotected downloads in online music, digital rights management (DRM) is likely to persist and may also thrive in the near future, the Recording Industry Association of America said today at a Los Angeles media conference. The music organization's technology head David Hughes observes that nearly all strategies for offering paid music still require some form of copy protection to enforce the license agreements, which are often dependent on set times or play counts.
LG Vu on Sale at ATT
Following the debut of the necessary mobile TV service on the weekend, AT&T's LG Vu today became available online and in shops. The handset is AT&T's first primarily touchscreen-driven phone since the iPhone and makes video its focus, with a built-in MediaFLO tuner providing live, over-the-air broadcasts of digital TV similar to Verizon's V CAST TV service. AT&T also stresses media playback support with support for Internet radio streams from XM as well as direct downloads from the company's own music store as well as eMusic and Napster.
eMusic now in Canada
The subscription-based digital music retailer, eMusic, launches today in Canada online and in over 80 Best Buy stores and Avis car rental locations. This marks eMusic's first expansion into other markets, as the service has been in operation in the US since 2003 and recently surpassed 200 million downloads, making it the second biggest online music retailer next to iTunes. eMusic offers 3.5 million DRM-free MP3-format songs and audio books, allowing users to burn them to CDs, transfer them to personal MP3 players and make multiple copies for personal use.
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.
Pakman blasts iTunes idea
Despite a lack of official word from Apple in terms of a "Comes with Music"-style unlimited iTunes download plan, the concept is drawing heavy criticism, especially from eMusic CEO David Pakman. Many in the industry are trying to predict Apple's moves before any official announcement [1|2], and Pakman claims that a potential unlimited plan would rank Apple alongside Microsoft in terms of monopolistic behavior, due to the company's market dominance with the venerable iPod, according to Wired.
Amazon MP3 Worldwide 2008
Amazon today announced early details of an international strategy for its Amazon MP3 direct-download music store. The online retailer says it will unveil versions of the store outside of the US beginning this year; the company declines providing an exact timeframe for when these stores will appear but emphasizes that the stores will remain DRM-free, allowing songs bought from the store to work with most any operating system, software, and portable media player without rights limits.
Yahoo DRM-Free Leak
Yahoo is in talks to revamp its music store to remove copy protection, says a report from the Chinese news agency SINA. Two record label executives have allegedly confirmed that Yahoo is in preliminary negotiations to change its service from its current, Windows Media protected format to an unspecified, unguarded format that would be interchangeable between devices and players. Yahoo spokeswoman Carrie Davis has confirmed that the company has discussed shedding digital rights management (DRM) on its music with labels but has also denied any new escalation in talks.