eMusic has been around for years and has required users to purchase a subscription even if they wanted to buy music from the online store. That has now changed with the company announcing that starting this week anyone will be able to visit eMusic.com and purchase songs or albums at a retail price without needing a subscription. Forcing people to buy a subscription to buy music never made a lot of sense as a business model.
However, users who do have a subscription will still be able to login and purchase music at a discounted rate. The website will maintain the same tools including personalized discovery tools and features. Shoppers without a membership will be able to access the full catalog of music from every major label and nearly all independent labels.
The company's president and CEO Adam Klein announced the change this week. Klein says that the company has been around for nearly 14 years and the change in the firm's business model invites everyone to engage with the music service the company offers. It remains unclear exactly how much more shoppers without a membership will pay compared to those with a membership.
Klein also noted that eMusic is in talks with a number of major companies in the OEM market, wireless, and cable operators as well as big-box retailers. He offered no details on what sort of services eMusic is in talks to provide for these companies. It would be safe to assume that we may see the music service bundled with smartphone purchases and more in the future.