Matador and eMusic

As you might have read elsewhere, the Matador Records catalog will no longer be available via eMusic as of November 18.

This is unfortunate, but as eMusic has brought more major labels into the fold,  they have changed the terms on which they deal with labels, some of which we have found impossible to accept, in our own interests, those of our artists, and ultimately those of their fans.

We’re grateful for the support Matador has received from eMusic in the past.

Matador’s catalog will continue to be available via many other great sites and stores. We encourage you to visit them.

21 thoughts on “Matador and eMusic”

  1. The drop of labels like Matador and Merge completely wipe out any gains the site is pulling from dsitributors like Universal. I love your label and will ultimately support it over a given distributor, especially if said distributor completely loses its focus.

  2. This is exactly what I was afraid would happen. Too bad I bought a year subscription over the summer. I hope eMusic changes their minds. I don’t want Warner and Sony, I want Matador and 4AD

  3. This is the tipping point for me. Alas, like CortJstr I have an annual subscription which runs through March. Without Matador and Merge, there is virtually no cost benefit to me. Very sad, as I would download more Matador albums than I likely would buy full price. Great way to test things, take chances, etc.

  4. Yeah, I will definitely cancel and certainly sample less from all the labels that pulled out. But understandable if the terms weren’t fair to them.

  5. Emusic just lost a subscriber. Dumb idea. Well good for you I guess because I will be buying direct from you now.

  6. i’ll definitely be ending my subscription. i have been a fan/defender of emusic for a while now but they’ve completely changed their focus over the last couple of years, and the value is greatly diminishing (especially as they refuse to increase bitrates)

  7. Bummer. I canceled my subscription yesterday when I heard Domino and Merge were out. I’ve been there for about seven years. I’ll follow Matador’s catalogue wherever it goes, though.

  8. sorry to say, but eMusic sucked anyway. better that you’re no longer associated with such an inferior music download service and preserve your integrity. kudos to matador, i will follow you anywhere.

  9. I suppose it was inevitable that sooner or later they’d turn into the online equivalent of the Columbia Record and Tape club. Except that I can change my address and not pay the bill. Oh well.

  10. Whelp, that’s the end for me on emusic. I was fine when they were raising prices because there was no other way they’d stay in business, but this is just a bad direction.

  11. Add me to the list of soon-to-be former subscribers to eMusic. I was a member because of the music I could get from premiere ‘indie’ labels. My buying through iTunes has gone down 80% in the last year because it is so corporate label oriented, and eMusic will get the same. I keep an eye on this and other blogs to see where my not insignificant spending will migrate.

  12. My emusic subscription expired a week ago. I was nervous about renewing because of the impending price hike, and now this. Good bye emusic. After 4 years you’ve lost me. Good for you Matador, although I hope emusic comes around and finds a way to get you all back because they’re making a huge mistake.

  13. Okay, since you guys have split from eMusic, can you answer a question that’s been bugging me as an eMusic subscriber. When I clicked Download Album, how much money did the band make?

    I spend a reasonable amount of money on music, and even though I’ve had a grandfathered 65-track-a-month subscription for a few years, I felt a pretty guilty about it. If I didn’t have eMusic, I’d still spend the same amount on music. It’s just that on eMusic I got a lot more quantity. And from your label (and the other guys who just split) I got quality too. That doesn’t happen too much in life.

    This is unfortunate. I know I’ve gotten into many new bands that I tried on a whim (easy to do at about $3 an album) and gone on to buy tickets when they came through town or buying other CDs by the band. I’ve even bought the same same album on CD or Vinyl again after getting it from eMusic a half dozen times.

    I wasn’t sure about the whole subscription thing, but as someone who loves music, it’s worked out great for me. I always hoped that also somehow worked for the artists, too.

    Now I’ll have find some other music to pick up besides Matador artists for the next 11-1/2 month on my subscription. I’ll be looking for you guys back at the record stores.

  14. I’ve subscribed to and loved eMusic for a long time but completely support the decision of Matador, 4AD, Rough Trade and the rest. eMusic seems to have lost its way lately, but I will be buying your records long after they’ve run eMusic into the ground.

  15. While I am sad about the direction that eMusic is taking, the unfortunate truth is that both Beggars Group and eMusic will suffer for it. I, along with many of you, will of course still support the amazing music that Beggars brings to the table, but I won’t buy nearly as much of it, and I’ll be significantly less inclined to take a chance on an unknown artist. The whole thing is bad news bears.

  16. I posted this at the Merge message board (, and I thought I might as well ask here as well…

    Have folks at Beggars, Merge and other indies have considered the idea of collaborating on a digital subscription service of their own? When I joined eMusic in 2005, it was basically a worry-free/guilt-free way for me to try just about anything that came out on Merge/Matador/4AD/Kill Rock Stars that I wasn’t familiar with. Irrespective of the mass indy exodus, their value proposition has changed quite a bit since then, and they’ve ceased to be anything like that for quite a while. It’d be great to get something like that back.

    A suggestion: since all the labels I mentioned above have digital stores anyway, what if they collaborated and sold a voucher system where customers received a monthly allowance they could spend in any one of those stores for a discounted yearly subscription price? I would take that deal in a heartbeat.

  17. I ended my account last night. I noticed they stopped carrying Merge. It is a damn shame that they also stopped carrying Matador.

  18. i am to see the old emusic go, as i credit them for letting me acquire a zillion obscure-to-rare 70’s and 80s indie that i would have otherwise paid bigtime on ebay for. but not really surprised this happened though. luckily labels like matador and bands like gbv, etc. are setting up digital stores with an emergence of FLAC files which blow away the low bitrate emusic offerings.

  19. Thomaus, as an artist who is selling on eMusic, I can tell you that we don’t get very much, especially compared to the other major download services like iTunes or Amazon (those sites give me 70 cents of every dollar’s worth of my music that sells). The split I get from eMusic fluctuates, but seems closer to 30 percent or so.

    That said, I’m just a small-time nobody who has to use an aggregation service in order for those places to even deal with me at all – pay rates for artists on “real” labels like Matador might be different.

  20. I just cancelled myself. I bleed Matador. Emusic inched and inched there way away from my loyalty. Seeing Pink and Lady Gaga with Top 10 hits on the main chart made me puke in my mouth a little bit.

    Thanks for the info Spencer, keep fighting the good fight.

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