Guest Author - Clare Stubbs
Over the last few years, the well known iTunes software by Apple has seen a number of competitors enter the market, including Amazon and HMV. eMusic.com was launched back in 1995 when it started out as an online CD retailer, but it has since joined the digital music race and begun making some alterations on how the company operates.
It was in the year 2000 that (as mentioned on eMusic.com) they set up the world’s very first subscription service for downloading music in a digital format, a groundbreaking feature which has set a precedent about how we purchase our favorite music.
On the November 20th 2010 it was announced that the company (which have approximately 400,000 subscribers and a library of more than 10 million songs) have ditched the option that previously allowed users to bulk buy credits for downloads, in favor of providing music lovers with the option to purchase individual tracks. This move is expected to make eMusic.com a major active competitor for rival organizations.
These changes means that eMusic.com will be able to increase its library by obtaining any new releases from Warner and Sony, as well as 2009 tracks from Universal.
The cost of downloading individual tracks through the site will vary but in 2010, they consist of the following:
• A large majority of independent tracks are set at a price of 49 cents
• Tracks from major music labels like Sony and Warner (when they become available) will be priced at anything between 69 and 89 cents which is definitely going to make the company a good contender for the future of digital downloads
It seems that both iTunes and eMusic.com are both worthy contenders and it might be difficult to make any real comparisons. However, iTunes overall offers a more extensive library of songs as well as providing extras like TV shows and games but a large majority of tracks available through eMusic are actually cheaper (especially since they unveiled their new plans for downloading individual tracks) and a major benefit is that any songs can be played through any MP3 player.
Some existing eMusic.com users appear to have reacted badly to the latest changes but is it possible for the service to become a real competitor against other digital music providers like iTunes?
Only time will tell, we will have to wait and see!