NEW YORK (Hypebot) — Rather than partner with a single middleman or create their own store, AT&T has been partnering with a variety of companies to provide music downloads and services to its subscribers. The iPhone with iTunes compatibility is one example of AT&T's offerings. And now eMusic's entire 2 million track indie music catalog will be available via over-the-air download subcsription.
Songs purchased from eMusic Mobile are immediately sent to a cell and a duplicate copy is available for download to the user's PC at no charge. AT&T customers can subscribe to download five tracks a month for $7.49 (higher than eMusic's normal $9.99 for 30 tracks PC based subscription) andadditional packages of five songs are available on demand for the same price. The iPhone was not on a published list of devices that can access eMusic Mobile at launch.
What makes all of this possible is eMusic's embrace of DRM free mp3's. Not only does it make phone compatibility less of an issue, but why not offer another song copy via the PC as insurance against still buggy over-the-air downloads. (More details can be found in this press release.)
HYPEBOT COMMENTARY: Big sales may be slow in coming, but this is a smart move for both companies. Over-the-air downloads dominate some Asian markets already and should grow rapidly here as networks and devices improve.
AT&T's music portfolio has just been broadened to satisfy hard core indie music fans and its image widened beyond the Apple cult. eMusic proves that it's not a one trick pony and can deliver value to indie labels beyond cheap pricing.