Emusic, which sells DRM-free MP3s, is now the second-largest online seller of music on the Internet. I cancelled my sub when they capped the number of downloads per month — I wanted to feel like I could take some months off from downloading, then download intensively when I felt experimental, and by capping the monthly downloads, Emusic made me feel like I had to download every month to get my money's worth.
That eMusic has found any traction is surprising, as it doesn't have any big hits. No music from major labels means nothing from chart-toppers such as Shakira, Beyoncé or U2 – but plenty from Scott H. Biram, the Pipettes, Dashboard Confessional and Peaches.
They are some of the popular eMusic artists, a roster that also includes household names: Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Credence Clearwater Revival, Miles Davis, Van Morrison, Moby, the White Stripes and Diana Krall are a few of the independent label notables, in a roster more heavily weighted to jazz, classical and indie rock than pop.
Update: Aaron sez, "Emusic doesn't charge a subscription anymore. It's just a straight $0.25/download now."
Update 2: Max sez, "eMusic is still a subscription service; if you sign up for the basic plan and download 40 songs a month, it works out to 25 cents per song."