eMusic to Offer Music from Sony’s Back Catalog

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Digital music service eMusic has long been a champion of selling DRM-free tracks in MP3 format…and while that has made eMusic friends with independent artists and labels around the world (and a terrific source for discovering new music), it has kept the major labels away…until now. As major labels have embraced offering DRM-free tracks through iTunes, Amazon, and other digital music retailers, eMusic doesn’t seem so scary anymore…and Sony has become the first major label to sign up to offer tracks for sale via eMusic. However—at least at first—Sony won’t be offering up its latest and greatest: the deal will cover music that’s two or more years old, but that still includes popular recordings from teh likes of The Clash, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Michael Jackson, Johnny Cash, and many other Sony artists.

“We’re excited to bring Sony Music’s vast catalog of music to eMusic’s customers,” said eMusic chairman and CEO Danny Stein, in a statement. “First and foremost, eMusic is about a quality customer experience. We are eager to bring eMusic’s in-depth approach and curatorial excellence to these incredible recordings—as we’ve done for independent labels for the last 10 years.”

Offering older catalog tracks would seem to be a good fit with eMusic, who’s avoidance by the major labels has turned it into a bit of a boutique shop offering a wide variety of artists to more-discerning listeners, rather than whatever’s hot on the R&B and pop charts in a current week. eMusic skews to an older audience than a mainstream digital music store, and that’s exactly the sort of buyer who is likely to want to tap into a major label’s back catalog. eMusic also enhances its offerings with editorial content, and plans to draw connections between both independent and Sony artists so users can see how musicians and genres influence each other…and discover new music in the process.

eMusic offers tracks via download-to-own subscription services; initial pricing offer up to 24 track downloads a month for $11.99.