In all of the media frenzy over the new Apple Music Store, let us not forget a service that people actually seem to use and like: EMusic, whose only problem seems to be that its catalogue is largely confined to the indie label world. Note BJ Johnson’s review from last October:
- This is a music review with an agenda – to promote online music services that work. It is possible to design a downloadable music business in which the artists get paid royalties and the fans get what they want – quality downloads, no hassle and a fair price.
At the moment, unfortunately, Emusic is the only service I’ve found that fits the bill. For about 10 bucks a month, you get unlimited mp3 downloads. Once you’ve saved them, they can be transferred to a portable player or burned to CD, and they will still be available if you leave the service. Best of all, you can download an entire album with a click of a mouse. The service doesn’t have much of anything available from major labels, but it’s great for indie rock, jazz, electronic music and underground hip-hop.
In the wake of the Apple onslaught, EMusic has an announcement of their own today:
- SAN DIEGO, April 29, 2003 — EMusic, the Internet’s most popular downloadable music subscription service, today announced it has signed a distribution agreement with Vagrant Records, a wildly successful independent label specializing in punk/alternative music. Under the terms of the agreement, EMusic will distribute both Vagrant’s catalog and new releases to members of its MP3 subscription service. Beginning today, EMusic subscribers can download full albums from such Vagrant artists as Dashboard Confessional, Saves The Day, The Get Up Kids, Alkaline Trio and Paul Westerberg, among others.
Today’s agreement builds on EMusic’s extensive catalog of more than 250,000 MP3s from over 900 leading independent labels. EMusic allows its 70,000 members unlimited access to its catalog of high-quality MP3s for one low monthly price. Unlike other subscription services that offer only streaming and significant restrictions, EMusic uses the popular MP3 format and allows members the flexibility to easily burn their music to CDs and transfer it to portable MP3 audio players. EMusic offers a free two-week trial to its service at http://www.emusic.com/subscription/.
“In contrast to the other subscription offerings, EMusic is tailored for the avid music fan and we specialize in music from great independent labels,” said Steve Grady, general manager for EMusic. “Our subscribers will be thrilled with the addition of Vagrant and we are proud to add its impressive roster to our service.”
“In the six years since it was founded, Vagrant Records has become one of the most successful and respected independent rock labels in the world,” said Ray Farrell, EMusic’ vice president of music acquisition and management. “Music has the strongest punk and indie rock fan base of any subscription service, so this is a great match.”
“EMusic has grown into a strong digital distribution channel as well as a great promotion avenue,” said Dan Gill, general manager of Vagrant Records. “We’ve looked at many other subscription offerings and EMusic is set apart by its flexibility and value.”