AT&T and eMusic Create Expensive Mobile Music Store

I just wrote a news piece and analysis of AT&T and eMusic’s new mobile music store for PC Magazine. To summarize, the new service lets AT&T get into the over-the-air download game where consumers can buy music directly from their phones. And it feature’s eMusic’s 2.7 million track catalog of independent artists, and none of the tracks have any form of digital rights management (DRM). They’re in pure MP3 format, which is a wonderful thing.

However, consumers have to subscribe to the service for $7.49 per month – that gives them five tracks per month to download – and then they can purchase additional packs of five songs as desired. That pricing scheme could doom the service to obscurity. In addition, the service doesn’t work with the AT&T/Apple iPhone, which uses an entirely different music format and online store.

It’s a shame, because eMusic is a great way to get independent music at low prices and without restrictive copy protection. For some reason, they weren’t able to carry that pricing over to AT&T’s mobile network. It essentially costs five times as much to buy tracks from eMusic from an AT&T phone than it does from a desktop or laptop PC. For more details, check out the link below.

AT&T, eMusic Launch Mobile Music Service [PC Magazine]