eMusic Reboots With UMG Catalog, Sony & WMG New Releases plus A Reply To Exiting Indies
Many of the promised changes at eMusic are launching today. "We are adding to our U.S. catalogue over 250,000 titles from Universal Music Group, as well as new releases from Sony and Warner Music," wrote eMusic CEO Adam Klein. New music from major labels is something new for the subscription service and much of it goes live today (11/18) in the U.S. But the expansion has not come without controversy.
Just yesterday, eMusic announced the loss of threse respected independent labels: Domino, Merge and the Beggars Group of labels which includes 4AD and Matador. Responding to the departures Klien says: "In the process of expanding our catalog and making the changes necessary to serve our members and ensure the long-term sustainability of our business, a few labels have chosen to exclude themselves from the new comprehensive eMusic offering. We are treating all labels equally and therefore we believe fairly. We will greatly miss their artists and their music and trust that they will find their way back to our members soon."
Many eMusic subscribers appear to miss these artists as well, judging from the comments in the site's forum. "The labels who made emusic's footprint as large as it is are getting hosed and they know it," wrote one.
And at least one of the departing labels, Beggars, seems in no hurry to return. "We wish this hadn’t happened, but as eMusic has brought major labels on board, they have changed the terms on which they deal with labels in certain ways, some of which we have found impossible to accept, in our own interests, those of our artists, and ultimately those of their fans," said the UK indie label group in a statement.