Online music retailer eMusic has added recording label EMI to its list of major labels, as part of a larger effort to expand the indie digital music retailer into larger territory by also including major label artists. The addition of the EMI catalog will bring more than 15,000 albums to eMusic and completes the fourth addition of major labels to the online music service. Any EMI music added will be older than 12 months since its original release date.
eMusic signed deals with Universal Music Group, Sony and Warner Music Group over the past two years. The addition has been controversial to some, as eMusic has its roots in indie culture and many looked at major label expansion as a sort of sell out of its principles. It's also part of a larger move by EMI to update its outlook to be consistent with the times, embracing its outreach to more outlets online and moving a struggling recording label into positive territory.
“We recognize that we need to expand upon the music that we offer to better cater to the varied tastes of our membership base. In adding more music to our catalog, we will always honor our independent roots,” said said Adam Klein, CEO and President of eMusic.
The addition of EMI's catalog will bring artists like Brian Eno, Radiohead, the Beastie Boys, Hot Chip and LCD Soundsystem into the mix, names that are synonymous with indie culture. It also adds the Blue Note Records catalog, a legendary history of jazz music.
eMusic is also looking to "give members the ability to access all of their music no matter where they are," a possible sign that eMusic is also making the move towards a cloud-based model of music experience. They've said that they'll be launching this service as a beta site sometime over the next year, by invite to its customers.