Digital music subscription club eMusic has launched a new pricing plan that charges more for new music but adds tunes from major labels in an effort to broaden its appeal.
In the past, the site focused on indie labels and off ered discounts on tracks for members committed to spend at least $6.49 a month.
The previous plan off ered song credits that priced songs at about 50 cents each. In the new plan, members will pay 49 cents for most of the tracks that were available before Nov. 18, but adds 69-cent and 79-cent prices for more popular tunes and charges 89 cents for newer tracks that usually sell on Apple Inc.’s iTunes store for $1.29.
Members still get song prices that are about 20 percent to 50 percent cheaper than iTunes, it said. Unused amounts are not carried over each month, unless a user has less than 49 cents left to spend.
The move allows the site to add newer songs from major labels such as Sony Music and Warner Music Group Corp., and tunes released more than a year ago from Universal Music Group.
It should help the site have “much broader appeal,” said Adam Klein, a former strategy executive at EMI who is now the company’s chief executive. Previously, new members searching for material often found the music wasn’t available.
“Those days are over. There will still be some blanks but it’ll be a small percentage,” Klein said.
The price change is the most significant move undertaken since Klein came on board. The site, owned by private equity firm Dimensional Associates, has more than 10 million tracks, but none yet from major label EMI.