eMusic Breaks The Monopoly of iTunes in Europe

Sep 12th, 2006 | By | Category: Digital Music

eMusiceMusic today launched its service in Europe, becoming the first digital music service available throughout the entire European Union. eMusic will offer music lovers in all 25 EU member nations a catalogue of 1.7 million tracks in the universally compatible MP3 format, which works on every digital music hardware and software device including iPods.
‚ÄúThe monopoly of iTunes in Europe is over,” said David Pakman, President and CEO, eMusic. “European consumers, fed up with homogeneous music and services focused only on mainstream pop can now discover a wealth of music created to transcend rules, boundaries and commercialism. We are excited to introduce the most diverse catalogue of music in the world to European independent music fans who are crying out for a download service that caters to their needs.‚Äù

The new site offers tracks specific to domestic territories and includes the most important European independent music, specifically merchandised for British and other European audiences. Labels newly available to European customers include independent giants Beggars Group (XL, Matador, Beggars Banquet, 4AD, Too Pure), Edel, Domino, Ministry of Sound and many more.

To license the hundreds of EU-specific labels that are available for today’s European launch, eMusic established EU headquarters and a dedicated, specialist staff in London almost two years ago.

With 8,500 of the world’s top independent labels, eMusic features music from outside the commercial mainstream in every genre: rock, jazz, hip-hop, blues, classical, country, folk, electronic, world and reggae; including familiar names such as Johnny Cash, Bob Marley, Ray Davies, Miles Davis and Paul Weller, established rule-breakers Basement Jaxx, Bjork and the Fall, and new artists like the Rapture, the Pipettes and Four Tet. Its best-selling labels include Naxos, KOCH, Stax, Prestige, Concord/Fantasy and Beggars Group.

Steve McCauley, European President, eMusic, adds, “Thanks to the abundance of highly successful independent labels in Europe, eMusic’s European customers will benefit from an even greater selection of labels and artists. eMusic looks forward to giving the 30 million-plus iPod® owners in Europe a choice about the type of music they buy and where they buy it.”

Unlike most download services, eMusic is the only major service to deliver music in the universally compatible MP3 format and the only service, other than iTunes, that works with the iPod. eMusic’s high audio quality (192K VBR bit rate) MP3s allow consumers to burn CDs, transfer music to MP3 players and make as many copies of songs or albums as they like for personal use. eMusic customers own, not “rent,” their music – downloads are yours to keep, even if you cancel your subscription.

eMusic also encourages customers to discover new music by providing award-winning editorial from a distinguished writing staff led by best-selling music author Michael Azerrad. eMusic‚Äôs more than 120 contributors write definitive pieces spanning every kind of music the site has to offer — including thousands of reviews, fascinating, in-depth columns and the signature eMusic Dozen, a guided listing of the best the site has to offer under a given theme. Acclaimed British music journalist Barney Hoskyns has joined as senior U.K. music columnist.

“Independent music is thriving, and online, the opportunity for independent labels is even greater,” said Alison Wenham, Association of Independent Music (AIM) Chairman and CEO and President of the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN). “eMusic, as a service truly dedicated to helping people discover the gems of the music industry’s greatest asset, is actually focused on growing the music industry instead of simply replacing physical sales with digital ones. We welcome their entry into the EU music market and celebrate their future success.”

eMusic has been operating in the US since 1998 and is second only to iTunes in the number of downloads sold, with an 11% year-to-date US market share (NPD Group). Since August, 2005, the company has doubled its subscriber base, selling more than 85 million tracks in the last 36 months alone.

eMusic’s European sites will follow the same business model as their US counterpart and offer a subscription-based service, allowing members to download tracks for substantially less than they would pay for other download services. eMusic offers 25 free downloads at sign-up, and its subscription pricing gives music lovers an inexpensive, low-risk way to discover great new music.

  • eMusic Basic: ¬£8.99/ ‚Ǩ12.99 per month/40 downloads – 22p/ ‚Ǩ 0.32 a song
  • eMusic Plus: ¬£11.99/ ‚Ǩ16.99 per month/65 downloads – 18p/ ‚Ǩ 0.26 a song
  • eMusic Premium: ¬£14.99/ ‚Ǩ20.99 per month/90 downloads – 17p/ ‚Ǩ 0.23 a song
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