Before I comment, let me say in my opinion for a service like eMusic to achieve a decent foothold in the market I think need enough material for people become hooked by seeing enough music to download to use up their trial amount and some music that would have to paid for by the following month’s subscription or as paid for additional downloads. For the average punter, you’ll probably manage to achieve this by having significant chunk of the currently charting major releases and major artists back catalog. Although as I understand it, the ‘Long Tail’ argument says that you can succeed by effectively filling a niche purely because of the potential market size you can reach through the web means even minor releases will generate you enough sales be viable, although this won’t make even a tiny scratch against iTunes. eMusic’s marketing seems to suggest that they want ‘to be a somebody, to be a contender’.
Having established that, I have to say in terms of music available through eMusic I was deeply disappointed. Admittedly I wasn’t in my buy even very obscure artists & randomly sample what it is out there frame of mind when I looked at eMusic’s offerings, but I couldn’t see enough music to entice me into using my 25 freedownloads and signing up to £9 per month – something I’m very dissapointed about, as I believe eMusic have got things right, I very much want to see them succeed in a big way.
The site itself actually rather nice, easy to navigate, and as far as information is concerned brilliantly detailed with biographies, reviews and cover art – but then I’d expect that as they license the information from AllMusic.
To illustrate the point, we went lookinf for Massive Attack – couldn’t find any entries (despite the Collected riding well in the charts). The Rolling Stones didn’t figure too well, neither did Radiohead. But its not all bad news if you’re a fan of artists on the XL record label then you’ll love it there is a deep vein of their stuff including all the singles. So artists such as the White Stripes and Basement Jaxx are well served.
I’ve not given up on eMusic – I’ll be checking back to see if their catalogue grows in the right direction – fingers crossed that it will. But for now – they need to get some more agreements in place.