I just went to eMusic to download an album or two from my Jewish Music list, and guess what? Three out of the four albums are missing. Guess what else? The missing ones are all on Tzadik. Guess what else? Tzadik left eMusic. The Washington Post ran an article about it a few days ago.
Indie labels plan to pull out of digital service
DENVER/LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - A handful of independentrecord labels are poised to launch what they are calling a'revolt' against digital subscription service eMusic, citingunhappiness with the company's pricing model as their coreconcern.
Perhaps because the link is way at the bottom of the site, just above the fine print, the eMusic message boards seem to be populated mostly by core members. There are plenty of stupid posts, but good discussion happen pretty frequently. One topic that caught my eye was Tzadik alert! There's also a long thread if you're interested in the community's response. Lastly, there's a commendable post by the eMusic CEO, David Pakman, at 17 dots.
A healthy digital music business needs a variety of business models and a variety of price points, just like the movie biz (think theater, DVD, pay-per-view). What we offer to record labels is the opportunity to sell their product to a customer who’s passionate about music and will buy it in large quantities — if the price is right. eMusic is the “long tail” — we don’t sell many hits, but over two-thirds of our catalogue of 2.5 million tracks sells at least once every quarter. That’s far above and beyond iTunes. eMusic sells music that doesn’t sell anywhere else.
So I guess I won't be able to download that Jewish music I wanted to check out. I'm disappointed that Tzadik has left eMusic, but I'm not discouraged. There's a ton of music still available, and new releases are always coming in.