eMusic to start selling standalone downloads

By | Published on Wednesday 9 January 2013


eMusic, one of the longest established operators in the digital music domain, will start selling individual downloads to all, the company has announced a the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas.

The service has always operated a subscription model, where users pay a set fee per month and are then able to download a set number of tracks (with the per track fee usually less that on other download stores as a result).

Originally a subscription got users a certain number of ‘credits’ to use when downloading tracks, though more recently tracks and albums have been given cash values, which are deducted from the amount paid each month via the subscription fee, making it feel less like a club and more like a pre-pay store.

By selling downloads on a pay-as-you-go basis as well, eMusic will become even more like an iTunes style download platform, though eMusic chief Adam Klein insists the editorial and membership elements of his service will very much remain, adding that he expects that individual-track customers attracted to his revamped service can be upsold the full subscription offer.

According to Billboard, Klein told CES: “While our focus and core audience remains the same, our new business model now opens eMusic up for everyone to enjoy what we bring to the table: insightful editorial that we curate independently from our sales division, and personalised discovery technology that draws upon the diverse tastes of our unique eMusic community”.

eMusic has also used CES to announce the launch of a new ‘discovery algorithm’ called the Engineered Serendipity Project, or ESP (see what they did?), which will make personal recommendations based on past purchases, play data and eMusic reviews.