Business News Deals Digital Labels & Publishers

Universal licence 250,000 songs to eMusic

By | Published on Wednesday 13 October 2010

Following the previously reported rumours that US-based digital music service eMusic was in talks with Universal, it’s been confirmed that the major has licensed about 250,000 tracks to the MP3 platform. 

Universal is the third major to start providing content to eMusic, which used to sell only indie label music, partly because it has always been an MP3-based platform, and for years the majors wouldn’t sell their music in the most popular file format. Sony was the first to major to sign up, followed by Warner; talks are reportedly ongoing with EMI. As with the other major label relationships, the Universal deal will be primarily of benefit to eMusic’s US customers. 

eMusic has also announced a revamp of its pricing structure. Unlike iTunes et al, eMusic is a subscription-based service where you pay a monthly fee and get a set number of downloads in return. Previously, subscribers received ‘credits’ for their monthly subs, with each track download costing one credit. Now their account will be credited in dollars or pounds equal to their subscription fee, and each download will have an actual cash cost attached to it. 

It basically introduces variable pricing to the eMusic platform, which was seemingly needed to get Universal on board.