As an alternative to iTunes, eMusic has long been in the hearts of many music lovers because it boasts a decent catalog of indie music and offers low subscription plans that allow you to download a set number of tracks each month for a price much lower than many major competitors .
But everything is about to change.
Starting in just a few weeks, eMusic, a decent (but surprisingly under the radar) source for mp3s, will be adding more than a quarter of a million tracks to its library. Surely that won’t affect me, you might be thinking to yourself. I mean, it might become more mainstream, but I’ll deal. Sorry. Think again.
With the addition of the Universal catalog, the site will no longer be offering neat little monthly download packages. Instead, everything will jump to a pay per model – like iTunes. Sure, the prices are still lower, but long-time members will lose their handsomely discounted packages.
According to the site,
“Under the new currency pricing system, eMusic members will enjoy savings of 20%-50% compared to iTunes a la carte prices. The majority of albums on eMusic will be priced from $5.19 – $8.99. Single track pricing for members will vary as follows:
○ $0.49 for most tracks currently in our catalog
○ $0.69 – $0.79 for more popular content
○ $0.89 for tracks that generally sell for $1.29 at iTunes
The exact difference this will make remains to be seen as eMusic settles on its price points, but I can’t help but feel like we’re at the end of an era here.