As Billboard reports, an official statement on digital music provider eMusic’s message board lets customers know that releases from indie labels Domino, Merge, and the Beggars Group will no longer be available on the site starting tomorrow, November 18, “pending further discussion.”
eMusic writes, “This is as heartbreaking to us as it is to you. Please know we have done everything we could to keep them from leaving. Forging deals with our label partners can be pretty complex. As many of you know, labels have come and gone over the years, and we hope to see these labels back soon.”
Beggars Group (which includes Matador, XL, Rough Trade, and 4AD) issued a statement explaining their departure: “We wish this hadn’t happened, but as eMusic has brought more major labels on board, they have changed the terms on which they deal with labels in certain ways, some of which we have found impossible to accept, in our own interests, those of our artists, and ultimately those of their fans. We have loved eMusic, and the support it has given to our music, but it was the dedicated home for independent music and is, in our view, not that any more.”
Similarly, Merge’s statement says, “Unfortunately, eMusic’s unilateral changes in effort to bring on the major labels has created a situation where it would be harmful to the interests of Merge and our artists to continue our partnership at this time.”
Though eMusic began as an indie-leaning site, major labels Sony and Warner now sell their songs through the service. The biggest imprint of all, Universal Music Group, has licensed its catalog to eMusic with sales starting later this week, according to Billboard.
As of this writing, four of eMusic’s top ten downloads of the month are under the Beggars Group umbrella. (via pitchfork)