World's Second-Largest Digital Music Service Becomes First Available Throughout European Union
LONDON -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 12, 2006 -- eMusic (www.emusic.com), the world's leading retailer of independent music, today launches its award-winning service in Europe, becoming the first digital music service available throughout the entire European Union. eMusic will offer music lovers in all 25 EU member nations a catalogue of 1.7 million tracks in the universally compatible MP3 format, which works on every digital music hardware and software device including the market-leading iPod®.
With 8,500 of the world's top independent labels, eMusic is unrivalled in providing music to consumers interested in material outside the commercial mainstream. A subscription-based service that allows consumers to own, not rent, their music, eMusic encourages people to discover new music with editorial guidance from more than 120 renowned music writers, low download price and market-leading discovery features.
eMusic features established and emerging artists in every genre: rock, jazz, hip-hop, blues, classical, country, folk, electronic, world and reggae; including familiar names such as Johnny Cash, Bob Marley, Ray Davies, Miles Davis and Paul Weller, established rule-breakers Basement Jaxx, Bjork and the Fall, and breaking new artists like the Rapture, the Pipettes and Four Tet. Its best-selling labels include Naxos, KOCH, Stax, Prestige, Concord/Fantasy and Beggars Group.
To license the hundreds of EU-specific labels that are available for today's European launch, eMusic established EU headquarters and a dedicated, specialist staff in London almost two years ago. The new site offers tracks specific to domestic territories and includes the most important European independent music, specifically merchandised for British and other European audiences. Labels newly available to European customers include independent giants Beggars Group (XL, Matador, Beggars Banquet, 4AD, Too Pure), Edel, Domino, Ministry of Sound and many more.
David Pakman, President and CEO, eMusic, says, "The monopoly of iTunes in Europe is over. European consumers, fed up with homogeneous music and services focused only on mainstream pop can now discover a wealth of music created to transcend rules, boundaries and commercialism. At eMusic, fans can explore our vast catalogue of groundbreaking independent music which plays on any digital music device, starting at just 17p or EUR 0.23 a track. We are excited to introduce the most diverse catalogue of music in the world to European independent music fans who are crying out for a download service that caters to their needs."
Steve McCauley, European President, eMusic, adds, "Thanks to the abundance of highly successful independent labels in Europe, eMusic's European customers will benefit from an even greater selection of labels and artists. eMusic looks forward to giving the 30 million-plus iPod® owners in Europe a choice about the type of music they buy and where they buy it."
Unlike most download services, eMusic is the only major service to deliver music in the universally compatible MP3 format and the only service, other than iTunes, that works with the iPod®. eMusic's high audio quality (192K VBR bit rate) MP3s allow consumers to burn CDs, transfer music to MP3 players and make as many copies of songs or albums as they like for personal use. eMusic customers own, not "rent," their music -- downloads are yours to keep, even if you cancel your subscription.
eMusic also encourages customers to discover new music by providing award-winning editorial from a distinguished writing staff led by best-selling music author Michael Azerrad. eMusic's more than 120 contributors write definitive pieces spanning every kind of music the site has to offer -- including thousands of reviews, fascinating, in-depth columns and the signature eMusic Dozen, a guided listing of the best the site has to offer under a given theme. Acclaimed British music journalist Barney Hoskyns has joined as senior U.K. music columnist.
"Independent music is thriving, and online, the opportunity for independent labels is even greater," said Alison Wenham, Association of Independent Music (AIM) Chairman and CEO and President of the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN). "eMusic, as a service truly dedicated to helping people discover the gems of the music industry's greatest asset, is actually focused on growing the music industry instead of simply replacing physical sales with digital ones. We welcome their entry into the EU music market and celebrate their future success."
eMusic has been operating in the U.S. since 1998 and is second only to iTunes in the number of downloads sold, with an 11% year-to-date U.S. market share (NPD Group). Since August, 2005, the company has doubled its subscriber base, selling more than 85 million tracks in the last 36 months alone.
eMusic's European sites will follow the same business model as their U.S. counterpart and offer a subscription-based service, allowing members to download tracks for substantially less than they would pay for other download services. eMusic offers 25 free downloads at sign-up, and its subscription pricing gives music lovers an inexpensive, low-risk way to discover great new music.
-- eMusic Basic: £8.99/ EUR 12.99 per month/40 downloads -- that's 22p/ EUR 0.32 a song -- eMusic Plus: £11.99/ EUR 16.99 per month/65 downloads -- that's 18p/ EUR 0.26 a song -- eMusic Premium: £14.99/ EUR 20.99 per month/90 downloads -- that's 17p/ EUR 0.23 a song
To launch its service simultaneously across all 25 EU member nations, eMusic has signed a pan-European licensing deal with Dutch author society Buma/Stemra, becoming the first digital music service to take advantage of the EU Common Market.
To introduce its service to a new audience, eMusic is partnering with leading European consumer brands. In the UK, eMusic has formed media partnerships with GCap Media's Classic FM, The Guardian and Haymarket's Stuff magazine to incentivise new subscribers via online promotions, advertorials and TV/radio advertising. Marketing partnerships with SanDisk, DSG International (Currys Digital, Dixons.com, PC World), NetGear, Archos and Box Media, among others, will see eMusic downloads bundled with MP3 players, USB drives, PCs, and MP3-compatible phones, and offered to consumers through in-box promotions. In addition, leading High Street bank Lloyds TSB will provide eMusic downloads as an incentive for students during Freshers' Week. Together, these partnerships will reach tens of millions of European music fans, particularly those interested in music beyond the commercial mainstream pop charts.
Tonight, to officially mark the arrival of eMusic in Europe, an exclusive evening of entertainment featuring performances from diverse artists representative of the genres available on eMusic will take place in London. Talent confirmed to play includes classical violinist Chloe Hanslip, jazz saxophonist Soweto Kinch, independent rock acts the Pipettes and Pop Levi, and electronic stars Basement Jaxx.
eMusic (http://www.emusic.com) is the world's leading digital retailer of independent music, second only to iTunes in number of downloads sold. The eMusic web site offers a global catalogue of more than 1.7 million tracks from established and emerging artists in every genre from the world's leading independent labels. Created by music experts for music fans, it features award-winning editorial content, a vibrant online community and unrivaled music discovery tools. A subscription-based service that offers 25 free downloads at sign-up, eMusic gives consumers an inexpensive, low-risk way to explore great new music they wouldn't find otherwise, and unlike other download services, its universally compatible MP3 files play on any device including the iPod®. Based in New York with an office in London, eMusic.com Inc. is wholly owned by Dimensional Associates, Inc., the private equity arm of JDS Capital Management, Inc.
For more information or photography of the launch event please contact:
Donna Amato David Milsom +44 (0) 870 9905 425 firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE: eMusic.com Inc.
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