Press articles on the launch of eMusic UK are starting to appear; representative articles can be found in The Register and MacWorld UK, with other outlets like Digital Music News repeating the story. However it’s worth noting that eMusic has not yet issued an official press release to announce the new services (nothing in the eMusic “press room”, and nothing elsewhere I can find), and the stories in question don’t include any official comments from eMusic representatives. (Also, the stories don’t mention the launch of eMusic Europe at all; of course, the articles in question are from UK publications who may take a parochial view of matters.)
Why the silence? It’s possible that from eMusic’s point of view the services really are in a beta period (as advertized), and it’s waiting to do a major press push until the service is officially out of beta. What remains to be done? Well, certainly there are still some outstanding customer issues, for example relating to existing customers on annual plans and whether they can take advantage of eMusic’s offer to continue at the previous (US) pricing when renewing their subscription. There may also be additional UK and European labels that eMusic would like to sign up prior to launch. Finally, eMusic may wish to tie the official announcement to a UK- and Europe-targeted marketing campaign that’s not quite ready to go live.
It will be interesting to see if pricing gets tweaked prior to the official launch. My personal opinion is that pricing will stay as it is, and the most that will happen is that eMusic will tweak the discounts being offered to existing subscribers being moved over to the new services.