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Did eMusic Miscalculate Reaction To Sony Deal?

LONDON (Hypebot) –
June 1st, eMusic announced that it was adding catalog from Sony Music to its previously indie-only subscription service. Hypebot heard from indie movers and shakers throughout the day about concerns that they might be forced to take a back seat to the major label on the site, how payments to labels will drop and speculation that Sony was getting a better deal than the indies.

With long term subscriptions and a desire to grab some Sony tracks at a deep discount, it may be months before the effect on subscriber numbers is known. But nowhere was the reaction to Sony coming on board stronger than on eMusic's own message board. Commenting on changes in pricing and download caps that resulted from the deal, eMusic subscribers were almost universally disappointed :

Jellybones: Thank you eMusic. It’s been a good run here for me. I love eMusic, been here over 5 years. But I can't afford my tracks to be cut by 2/3 for the same price.

90 downloads will become 35. Sorry, not worth it for the selection. I can go buy a couple albums (maybe only 2 instead of 3) but I can get exactly what I want.

Kez RE: I feel sold out. It seems eMusic is enraptured with the dazzle of their future customer-trolls and have cast aside their loyal member base.

From the UK xtrev: As noted down in the bowels of the 'Major label…' thread, the new more expensive price plans have appeared on site today. Including Booster prices. Damn.

Don't think I'll be buying many more 50 track boosters at 20.99 UK pounds. That's a HUGE increase over the previous 14.99. If this is an example of what it means to have major label content here, then frankly they can shove it.

btx: Except for very rare circumstances, I'm not particularly interested in giving my cash to the major labels, that's why I come here. If it is going to cost me more for their presence [evenifIshouldchoosenottodownloadtheirstuff], that may be the end for me.

d.w.: “Effective Jul 6, 2009, your plan will change to the new eMusic Plus plan which gives you 37 downloads for $14.99 every 30 days.

We’re sorry that we’ve had to retire your current plan, but we’re confident that you’ll find even more music to love among the many new additions to the music catalog. And of course, you can always choose a different plan by visiting the Plan Options page within Your Account.”

My current plan is (grandfathered) 65 tracks per month for $14.99. This means that your Sony deal results in a 100% per track price increase over what I’m paying currently.

I appreciate (?) that you’ll be adding a lot of music from major labels that I could frankly not give a crap about (Alicia Keys — really?), but literally halving the amount of tracks I get on my current plan is a bit much to take. I’ve been a subscriber since 2000, but I am seriously considering canceling at this point.