New eMusic pricing: no credits, $0.49 for most tracks

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New eMusic pricing: no credits, $0.49 for most tracks

Postby Jake » Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:37 pm

Oh boy, here we go again. Funny how they always time their announcements of pricing changes (i.e., fucking their existing customers) with the announcement of adding another major label. That went over really well last time, didn't it?

Right now, under my current somewhat grandfathered plan, I get 30 "credits" per month for $11.99. That's about $0.40 per song, and I consider that just about a fair price for a lossy old mp3 file. Not to sound like a cheap ass, but $0.49 seems a little high to me.

I'll stick around for a month or two to see how it goes, but I'll probably cancel my subscription and go back to more dubious means of acquiring asking publicists for a review copy...

Coming soon! eMusic’s largest catalog addition ever along with a new way to price music

eMusic’s mission has always been to provide our members with a deep and broad selection of music at the best possible value. So we’re thrilled to announce that this November we will be adding more than 250,000 tracks to eMusic!

The additions include classic hip-hop albums on the Def Jam label; groundbreaking, forward-thinking rock music on Geffen and Interscope; giants of jazz on the Verve and ECM labels; a wealth of classical music from the standard bearers Deutsche Grammophon and Decca Records; hard-hitting alt-country on Lost Highway; timeless R&B from the Motown label, and much, much more! It will be the single largest catalog addition to eMusic by far, and it comes thanks to a recent agreement with Universal Music Group.

In order to continue to grow our catalog and to insure a sustainable business in the long term, we need more flexible pricing. So we are changing from today’s credit-per-track system to currency pricing. Your membership will continue just as it is today and your monthly payments will not change. But starting in November, you’ll see tracks and albums priced in dollars and cents instead of credits.

New pricing in a nutshell
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

We won’t know where specific titles (or exactly how many) will fall in the categories above until November. But we think you’ll find that eMusic still offers the best deal out there on a consistent basis. For more on pricing, read The new pricing in detail.

Your monthly loyalty bonus
To thank you for being an eMusic member, a special loyalty bonus will be added to your account each month. The bonus level depends on the plan you are in. For more details regarding your new membership plan see the Your Plan info on the right.

eMusic today, eMusic tomorrow
We want to assure you that the heart of eMusic is not changing. As we grow our catalog, we’ll continue to profile records we find interesting or important, regardless of whether they've sold 4 or 4 million copies.

By growing our catalog our aim is to also grow our member base, which in turn will help fund improvements to the service. See A look at the future of eMusic for details on some of the good things to come.

Read on to get more details about the new catalog, the new pricing and how this affects your account. We want to hear your thoughts about the changes, please take a few minutes to share your feedback on a MEMBER SURVEY.

The new pricing in detail

Our commitment to offer a consistent savings
With the new pricing system, you will see a wider range of prices, with some tracks costing more and some less than the effective price you pay today. Over all however, eMusic members will consistently be able to enjoy savings of 20% - 50% compared to iTunes a la carte prices.

Album prices
With your eMusic membership, you’ll get the biggest savings on albums released a year or more ago. Generally, albums released more than 12 months ago will be available at a 35% savings compared to iTunes a la carte prices. More recent releases will be priced 25% less than iTunes a la carte prices. For example: an album that sells at retail for $9.99 will sell for $7.49 on eMusic.

Track prices
Most of the single tracks in our current catalog will be available to members at $.49 which is generally 50% less than iTunes a la carte prices. The price of more popular individual tracks in our current catalog could be $0.69 or $0.79. Single tracks released within the last 12 months will be available for either $0.79 or $.89.

You’re probably curious what the prices will be for specific titles in our current and future catalog. Prices offered to members will largely be driven by release date and label requirements. All of that is still being determined and we won’t know specifics until we get closer to the launch date. As soon as we know more, we’ll share the details.

The new music additions

This November will bring the single largest addition ever to eMusic’s catalog, thanks to an agreement with the Universal Music Group, home to the world’s largest collection of labels and artists.

Universal's catalog is as broad as it is vast and includes classic hip-hop albums on the Def Jam label; groundbreaking, forward-thinking rock music on Geffen and Interscope; giants of jazz on the Verve and ECM labels; a wealth of classical music from the standard bearers Deutsche Grammophon and Decca Records; hard-hitting alt-country on Lost Highway; timeless R&B from the Motown label, and much, much more!

We’re also working to bring you new releases from Universal Music Group and other labels - stay tuned!

Your account - what’s changing

Dollars and cents
In November, all member accounts will display available balances in dollars and cents. See below for an example.

Preferred Plans
Current members will be automatically grandfathered into Preferred plans that aren't available to new members. What makes these plans Preferred? They include a fixed number of bonus dollars each month from eMusic as a loyalty reward. The amount of bonus dollars varies by plan.

Your billing terms won't change — you'll see the same charge to your card each renewal period. Just like today, your balance will refresh every 30 days, and your unused balance will expire every 30 days.

The graphic at right shows the terms of your new Preferred plan.

Upon migration to your new Preferred plan, any unused credits will be converted to currency. Conversion rates are as follows:

$0.50 per credit for membership, bonus or free trial credits
$0.60 per credit for booster pack credits
$0.50 per credit for gift subscription credits
$0.50 per credit for eMusic download card credits

Once we switch to the currency system, you will have a limited time to browse all Preferred plans and select a different one from the Plan Options page.

New plans will be available for members that join after November 2010. You can see all new plans here. Please note, if you change your plan to one of these newer offerings, you will not be able to return to a Preferred Plan.

Not changing — The heart of eMusic

Members who have been with us for a while have watched us steadily grow the eMusic catalog. In the past 18 months, we've added major label content for the first time, welcoming the Sony and Warner Music Group catalogs. Those additions didn’t change our point of view, and neither will the upcoming catalog expansion. We'll still profile records that we find interesting, inspiring or important, without regard to who released it or its prospects for chart success. Those are the records we promote, and those are the records to which we devote space on our homepage.

A look at the future of eMusic

Our vision for eMusic is not changing. We feel eMusic's voice and outlook are unique, and we like it that way. Our pledge is to continue to reward your commitment with a consistent price savings, un-matched editorial context, and special, member-only experiences. We know that as an eMusic member, you're someone who is passionately committed to music – someone who supports the artists you love, and who loves making new music discoveries.

We’re also committed to making eMusic a better member experience. We recently rolled out improvements to Browse and Search pages. And we’re hard at work on a host of new features and enhancements including a music locker, which should allow you to stream your music collection from any desktop or mobile device. In addition, improvements to eMusic’s social features, to better connect you with our editors, other members, artists, labels and your friends, are also in the works. We've sketched out an ambitious slate, and it will take a little while to get there. We hope you'll continue on the journey with us.

We want to hear your thoughts about the changes coming in November, our future plans and the features you’d like to see on eMusic. Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts on a MEMBER SURVEY.

Still have unanswered questions? We're here to help. Please see our FAQs or email us at [email protected].

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