Sometimes there is an advantage in being the little guy. Google and Apple have been unable to come to terms with the major labels in their efforts to build a digital “locker” that streams music from the cloud, in large part because the labels are wary of these tech giants leverage as gatekeepers and advertisers.
But local indy fave eMusic is set to announce a way for users to stream their music from the cloud and a partnership with EMI that would mean all four major labels are in the eMusic catalog, according to an article in Crain’s.
What sets eMusic apart from rivals like Rhapsody or Rdio is that it offers downloads at a discount, as opposed to free streaming for a monthly fee. Currently eMusic has 400,000 subscribers paying $12 a month, although its not a profitable enterprise.
No doubt a killer streaming service will be big business as more folks buy smartphones and tablets with 4G capabilities. It’s a sign that the thirteen year old firm is still eager to innovate, although it may be coming at the expense of eMusic’s core cred, with Beggars Group, Merge and Domino recently leaving the service. Can you sell more without selling out?