Thank You Emusic

This blog is not about advertising, but given that I have a healthy dose of writer’s block tonight, I thought I’d switch gears and just appreciate the fact that Emusic has pretty much drowned me in music over the last month.

1. There’s the standard 37 tracks per month at $15.
2. I purchased 100 tracks using a $30 gift card in August.
3. Last night, they gave me 50 extra downloads for being a loyal customer through their transition in bringing Sony onboard.
4. I will shortly be receiving 10 more downloads for rating 10 albums. Yes, I select stars for my favorite records, and I will get 10 free songs.

That’s 197 tracks in one month at $45.  That’s 23 cents a tracks. Muy bueno.

And what did I purchase? Well, here’s an incomplete list:

1. Modest Mouse, No One’s First and You’re Next EP
2. 12 tracks from Bob Dylan’s first two greatest hits volumes (i.e. “All Along the Watchtower”, “I Shall Be Released”)
3. 5 tracks from Pearl Jam (i.e. “Nothingman”, “Once”)
4. Nathan, Jimson Weed
5. Hem, Funnel Cloud
6.  Neu! 75
7. Arcade Fire EP
8.  The Swell Season
9.  The Inbred, Kombinator
10. Sandra McCracken, Red Balloon
11.  The Minutemen, Double Nickels on the Dime (43 tracks for the price of 12!)
12.  5 tracks from Modest Mouse’s Sad Sappy Sucker
13. Son Volt, The Search (Deluxe Edition)
14. Sandra McCracken, Gravity/Love
15.  Dinosaur Jr., Farm
16. 6 tracks from Modest Mouse’s Epic releases
17. Bruce Springsteen, Hammersmith Odeon London ’75

And while there’s more where that came from, I’m not even done buying yet. I don’t know of a deal that even comes close to that in music downloads. So if you haven’t done a free trial with eMusic, what are you waiting for?

News Bits: eMusic to add Sony catalog

Thanks to Glorious Noise for the heads up on this one.

Looks like the internet’s corner record shop is going big time. And my gut tells me it’s bad news for the company and its core customers.

While they will be adding a whole slew of great artists from Sony’s vaults (Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Modest Mouse, Michael Jackson, and the Foo Fighters to name a few), but it’s all going to come with a cost. Right now, I get 50 downloads a month at $14.99. I have been able to download so much great music this way that I was quickly becoming an emusic loyalist.  But as of July, I’ll only be getting 37 downloads for the same price. Sure, that’s  still less than half of what I’d pay for a track anywhere else (40.5 cents to be exact), but really it just feels like I’m losing 13 tracks a month.

The upside is of course the ability to download tracks by these artists at the much lower price, and I suspect that this will allow eMusic to cut into the market share of (b)I(g)Tunes, but I have a really bad feeling that this will not end well for eMusic. I suppose if eMusic manages to force competitors down to 50 cents a track over the longhaul then they’ve accomplished something pretty special, but that seems incredibly unlikely to me.

What seems much more likely is that eMusic will slowly homogenize with the rest of the industry and (a) be bought out in the next few years or (b) become just like everyone else. I just can’t help but feel they are abandoning their niche, and that there is no possible way for this to end well for the obsessive music fan, except that maybe the slowly rising prices will force us all to get a life. : (

For the time being, I’ll capitalize on what I can and download a whole bunch of great music from Sony’s extensive catalog. eMusic is still the best legal mp3 site on the web. But all in all, this feels like a really bad day.