It was announced last month at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and now it's become reality. eMusic dropped its membership requirement for both the purchase of online music as well as any of its editorial and feature content, music discovery tools and catalogue of songs from most of the independent labels and all of the major labels.
eMusic has been around selling music for over a decade, and the eMusic free trial served as the gateway to gaining memberships long before the idea of a paywall was fashionable with the media elite like the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal. With online music stores like iTunes, AmazonMP3 and Google Play all using open-door models, eMusic saw the handwriting on the wall and made the change.
eMusic CEO Adam Klein said "For nearly 14 years, eMusic has been devoted to music collectors who support artists and labels by purchasing their albums. That's why our base is comprised of culturally independent thinkers and music enthusiasts who are considered to be the tastemakers of the industry."
Now comes the hard part -- eMusic faces the same challenge as Myspace to redefine when many consumers have moved on. Time will tell on how this plays out, this is one to watch.