eMusic discontinues unlimited downloads...

Discussion in 'Music' started by David Lawson, Oct 9, 2003.

  1. David Lawson

    David Lawson Screenwriter

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    Your $9.99 per month will now get you a whopping 40 songs instead, as of November 8:

    http://www.emusic.com/messages/qanda.html

    While a quarter per song isn't unreasonable, it will nonetheless be an adjustment. I've gotten into the habit of downloading all available albums of a specific artist and throwing them on an MP3 disc in chronological order so that I can listen to his musical progression over the course of a few days while I'm driving around town. The new policy doesn't exactly lend itself to sampling entire albums from new artists, either.

    I'll stick with them, but I fear this is the beginning of the end. There will undoubtedly be a number of subscription cancellations, but I highly doubt that eMusic can go back to its original "unlimited" download service (at anywhere near the same monthly fee, if at all) and expect to survive.
     
  2. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    I got that e-mail today as well. I'll still keep my membership with them since it comes down to about $3 per album, or even less if the album doesn't have a lot of tracks. I'll just make sure to download what I absolutely want before November 8. Looks like most of their customers are doing that as well since the downloading is choppy at best.

    Oh, well. It's still a better financial alternative than a $15 CD.
     
  3. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    I'm on the fence about keeping it... while I understand where they're coming from, I don't like it, and I'm not sure it's worth the money to me anymore. Right now I'm leaning towards cancelling. Very disappointed. [​IMG]
     
  4. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

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    I received the bad news yesterday. I'm hoping this will be a temporary situation and they'll revert back to an unlimited plan when they see how many ex-subscribers they suddenly have. I realize their new plan still costs less than other download services, but it is a HUGE change from their current unlimited plan. Why couldn't they have just increased the price of their unlimited plan? Let's face it, $10 per month for unlimited downloads is probably too low of a price, but why not $20 or $25? I'd certainly be willing to pay that. But I'm not willing to pay $50 for 300 downloads, even though that works out to about 16 cents per song.

    What bothers me is that I knew about emusic.com several years ago, but wanted to wait until I had high-speed internet access to subscribe. Now that I finally have DSL, they change their business plan just a few months after I subscribed. Granted, I've been able to download a lot of albums during that time, but there are hundreds more I'd like to download as well.

    Emusic.com was great for trying new artists and styles of music, but that experimentation is much less likely once they impose a limit on downloads. If they're going to impose an arbitrary limit on downloads, they should at least lengthen the "samples" they offer. Thirty seconds of a song is certainly not enough to decide if you like it. Why not offer the entire song in a low-fidelity stream? That way, you could at least hear the entire thing rather than a brief 30-second clip.

    I'm hoping that a huge majority of emusic's subscriber base will cancel; maybe they'll be forced to rethink the 40-song limit.

    For now, I'm extremely disappointed. It was great to download LEGAL mp3 songs, as I have no intention of messing with any of the P2P services available.

    Steve K.
     
  5. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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  6. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    Here is the letter that I sent to eMusic:

     
  7. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

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    That's a good letter, John. It will be interesting to see if it does any good. Unfortunately, I think about the only thing that will convince them that so severely limiting the number of downloads is a bad idea is if they lose almost 100% of their subscriber base within the first 30 days of making this "cold turkey" change.

    As I said previously, I could understand a price increase, and would willingly pay $20 or $25 per month for the luxury of downloading legal mp3 files. It's easy to see how charging less than the price of one CD for unlimited downloads isn't a good business model. But to suddenly change the unlimited downloads to a 40-song limit for the same price is simply too drastic of a change.

    The only consolation is that this move makes my $9.99/month subscription to XM seem that much better. For $9.99/month, I can either download a total of 40 songs, or have my choice of 70+ music channels 24/7. It's been great having both, but I'll stick with XM and forget emusic.com, unless they offer a better deal.

    Again, I'm extremely disappointed.
    Steve K.
     
  8. David Lawson

    David Lawson Screenwriter

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    Steve brings up an interesting scenario. Had it not been for eMusic (and my in-dash CD/MP3 deck), I would have been an XM subscriber for quite some time now. I couldn't justify having both, and still can't.

    Will three new albums per month instead of "unlimited" new albums make me reconsider? You bet it will.
     
  9. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Assuming this service is actually paying royalties (which is about the only way they can be legit), I can fully understand why they need to limit the number of downloads offered. If they are paying the industry rate for mechanicals, that works out to somewhere in the order of 10 cents per song per copy, which doesn't go very far for $10, especially when you have bandwidth overhead and administration to consider. If they have thousands of people downloading thsands of songs a month, it won't take long beore they are bankrupt.

    This also has nothing to do with the RIAA's "tactics." [​IMG]
     
  10. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    oh gee i am so shocked that any negative comment about the blessed by god riaa would be picked up by jeff like a bloodhound on sombody's trail oh gosh oh golly i am so surprised listen to the shock in my voice how dare anyone say anything negative about the riaa oh my oh golly

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Well John, if you actually knew what the RIAA were (not a company) or what they did, perhaps I wouldn't need to keep correcting you.
     
  12. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    Nah, you'd find some reason.
     
  13. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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  14. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

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    David- If this move by emusic causes you to reconsider a subscription to XM, you may wind up thinking of it as a blessing in disguise. If you are a music lover (and it certainly sounds like you are), an XM subscription offers the best entertainment value available today. I've been a subscriber since May, and I enjoy it more every day. It's such a treat listening to the incredible variety of music available on XM, most of which you would never hear elsewhere. I've actually derived much more enjoyment out of my XM subscription than I have my emusic.com subscription. Feel free to email or PM me if you'd like, and I'll be glad to talk to you more about XM. I have absolutely no regrets about getting XM, and this move by emusic just makes XM that much more valuable. I highly recommend it.

    Steve K.
     
  15. David Rubenstein

    David Rubenstein Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm not sure if I'll keep my subscription, but I do know it was pretty gutless of them to shut down their message board after they announced the change.
     
  16. David Lawson

    David Lawson Screenwriter

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  17. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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  18. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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  19. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    Here's something...

    Now that they've made the announcement, they're being hammered by the people who want to do last-minute leeching. This is preventing me (and likely thousands of others) from being able to fully take advantage of a service that we're paying for. (Right now, my download manager is in "requesting file" mode far, far more than it's actually downloading.) I wonder if we have any recourse for paying for services not rendered or partially rendered.

    Hell, I'll take a free month. [​IMG]
     
  20. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Like I said, I have been around the industry for a long time. When you know that the deal you signed with the label is bunk, expecting these subservices to be on the up and up is being overly naive. I was pessimistic long before the RIAA became what it is today.

    Until there is a distribution service that is directly accountable to the artists, and allows truly independent artists to use their system, I will remain guarded as to my belief in their intent to pay. You don't have top selling artists in court suing over $30+ million in unpaid royalties 20 years after their hit release if everything is above board.
     

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