Thanks to poppi and xtrev I now have a complete set of eMusic prices for the UK and the rest of Europe as they would apply to new subscribers. (Recall that current subscribers were offered the opportunity to continue at current US prices plus 17.5% Value Added Tax. I’m not yet clear on how that offer actually translates into practice, so I’ll defer discussing it until a later post.)

The first table shows prices for all eMusic products in the UK (priced in pounds), together with comparisons with current eMusic US prices; the exchange rate used is 1.90530 dollars per pound, the average interbank rate for August 10, 2006:

PlanUSUKExcluding VAT% increase (pre-tax)
Basic monthly$9.99£8.99 ($17.13)£7.65 ($14.58)46%
Plus monthly$14.99£11.99 ($22.84)£10.20 ($19.43)30%
Premium monthly$19.99£14.99 ($28.56)£12.78 ($24.35)22%
Basic annual$119.88£107.88 ($205.54)£91.81 ($174.93)46%
Plus annual$179.88£143.88 ($274.13)£122.45 ($233.30)30%
Premium annual$239.88£179.88 ($342.73)£153.09 ($291.68)22%
Basic 2-year$179.82£161.82 ($308.32)£137.72 ($262.40)46%
Plus 2-year$269.82£215.82 ($411.20)£183.68 ($349.97)30%
Premium 2-year$359.82£269.82 ($514.09)£229.63 ($437.51)22%
Booster Pack 10$4.99£4.99 ($9.51)£4.25 ($8.10)62%
Booster Pack 25$9.99£8.99 ($17.13)£7.65 ($14.58)46%
Booster Pack 50$14.99£13.99 ($26.66)£11.91 ($22.69)51%

The second table shows prices for all eMusic products in the rest of Europe (priced in euros), together with comparisons with current eMusic US prices; the exchange rate used is 1.2841 dollars per euro, the average interbank rate for August 10, 2006:

PlanUSEuropeExcluding VAT% increase (pre-tax)
Basic monthly$9.99€12.99 ($16.68)€11.06 ($14.20)42%
Plus monthly$14.99€16.99 ($21.82)€14.46 ($18.57)24%
Premium monthly$19.99€20.99 ($26.95)€17.86 ($22.94)15%
Basic annual$119.88€155.88 ($200.17)€132.75 ($170.46)42%
Plus annual$179.88€203.88 ($261.80)€173.51 ($222.81)24%
Premium annual$239.88€251.88 ($323.44)€214.37 ($275.27)15%
Basic 2-year$179.82€233.82 ($300.25)€199.00 ($255.53)42%
Plus 2-year$269.82€305.82 ($392.70)€260.27 ($334.22)24%
Premium 2-year$359.82€377.82 ($433.79)€321.55 ($412.90)15%
Booster Pack 10$4.99€6.99 ($8.98)€5.95 ($7.64)53%
Booster Pack 25$9.99€12.99 ($16.68)€11.06 ($14.20)42%
Booster Pack 50$14.99€19.99 ($25.67)€17.01 ($21.85)46%

In summary, if you exclude the effect of VAT then the net effect of the new pricing schemes is as follows:

  • Prices for all Basic plans were increased 46% in the UK and 42% in the rest of Europe.
  • Prices for all Plus plans were increased 30% in the UK and 24% in the rest of Europe.
  • Prices for all Premium plans were increased 22% in the UK and 15% in the rest of Europe.
  • Booster pack prices increased from 42% to 62% depending on region and the type of booster pack. As with the subscription plans, the highest increases occurred with the lowest-priced packs.

Clearly if you’re a new subscriber in the UK or the rest of Europe then your best deal relative to US pricing is to choose a Premium plan.

musicmoggy (pmillsom@csc.con) - 2006-08-12 09:12

A full analysis. I noticed that the lowest increase is “Premium annual $239.88 £179.88 ($342.73) £153.09 ($291.68) 22%”. eMusic is more deeply discounting this option that any of the others. However this may be because of forex futures anticipate a strengthening of sterling (and Euro) against the dollar (as UK/Euro interest rates hike up in Autumn). So it’s not necessarily a marketng driven discount. But that option looks good value. Hey I didn’t know they did a two year option ! How about they go public and we customers get first refusal to buy shares and get shareholder pricing discounts. I’d invest $10k or so.

dhaith ( - 2006-08-12 09:48

“[H]ow that offer actually translates into practice”? Not so well for me, as an annual subscriber: I subscribed to “eMusic Premium Annual with 20% Discount” at $191,90 a year ago (156.28 EUR at that time). This month, this plan expires and if I don’t choose a specific plan myself, my account will automatically roll over to the “eMusic Premium” plan at €20,99/month. So at the full European rate. All the other plans I can (optionally) change to are also at the new Euro rates, including the Annual Premium subscription I already held. Coming from my Annual Premium plan I would expect to be offered the US price when (automatically!) rolling over to the monthly Premium plan, considering that having payed up front for one year I kept my “subscription active and in good standing”. I would also expect to be given the option to renew my Annual Premium plan at the ‘old’ rate as well.

Harald Walker - 2006-08-12 19:30

@dhaith Same for me. $191.90 Premium Annual, which expires in September. I just downloaded my last 90 songs and canceled the subscription.

Sonic Walker » eMusic goes European and increases prices for European customers - 2006-08-12 19:57

[…] More details: eMusic prices for the US, UK, and rest of Europe […]

Jay ( - 2006-08-12 20:48

For dhaith and Harald Walker, and others in their situation, I’d recommend contacting emusic’s customer support. I’s likely that they’d correct the mistake.

Harald Walker - 2006-08-12 22:53

@Jay The point is this from the eMusic email: “eMusic will continue to honor this special pricing as long as you keep your subscription active and in good standing” So even if I get the old rate, it still means, that I can not stop deactivate the subscription for a while and continue it later as it has been until now without having to pay the higher rates. This is the 2nd time, that eMusic just goes ahead and changes its terms and conditions.

Frank Hecker - 2006-08-13 04:57

Harald: Regarding deactivating your subscription, when someone cancels their eMusic subscription they are in essence saying they no longer want to be an eMusic customer (for whatever reason). If they later rejoin eMusic then it’s nice if eMusic offers them an opportunity to rejoin at the price they were formerly paying, but I don’t think eMusic is (or even should be) under any obligation to do so.

Sean ( - 2006-08-13 08:29

eMusic have a subscription policy for a good reason, it allows them to quote a good per track rate compared with itunes, and gives them better predictability of revenues. It may also mean they can get away with paying less for their music, since we’re more likely to download random stuff at the end of a month!

dhaith ( - 2006-08-16 18:38

I got the following answer from eMusic Customer Service on the matter of annual subscribers being charged the original (US) rates after their plan expires: “[…] You are correct that the email you received should have been more clear. We are making the appropriate changes. Annual subscribers in the UK and Europe will be able to take advantage of the discounted monthly plans at the end of their annual subscription period. Unfortunately, we are unable to update your subscription to automatically convert into a discounted monthly plan so we will need you to email us at the end of your annual subscription with the request and we will convert your plan at that time.” Now, this says annual subscribers will be able to change into *any monthly* plan at the original rate + VAT. If I read between the lines correctly one *cannot* continue the (bi-)annual plans at the original rate. Will ask for futher clarification…

dhaith ( - 2006-08-19 12:09

Keeping your annual subscription at the orginal US rates is *not an option* for European customers according to eMusic Customer Support. My Question: “I understand from the [above] that I can change into /any/ monthly plan (40, 65 or 90 downloads) at the discounted price. Renewing my annual subscription (or going to the 2-year plan, as I was even considering) seems not to be an option at the discounted rate. Is this correct?” eMusic Answer: “Yes, that is correct. At this time, we do not have any special discounted rates for any of the annual or 2 year plans. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

grinsend ( - 2006-08-19 17:38

Just a thought: Some of the price, from eMusic’s perspective, may be justified. One thing we’re seeing now is that with the splitting of eMusic into regional parts, the different parts may have different cost structures. Contracts with the music distributors/labels for electronic distribution rights seem to have been renegotiated in many cases (as we are seeing evidence of in the new arrivals lists). It wouldn’t be surprising if the labels/distributors in Europe charged more for their distribution rights, given that they may have, for whatever reasons, higher cost structures than American labels/distributors.

Helen Price - 2006-08-23 12:16

yes the prices may differ and that’s fair policy.

patchwork ( - 2006-08-24 00:08

I suspect that the lack of a continuing (bi)annual sub at the old rate means that the whole ‘monthly subs at old rates’ deal may end in a very few months…