eMusic passes 200m downloads

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Music download service eMusic recently announced that it has sold more than 200 million downloads since it launched in 2003. Its run rate is 7 million tracks per month, according to the report.

eMusic sells music in MP3 format, free of any digital rights management (DRM) encumbrance. The company specializes in the distribution of independent music; its genres span rock to jazz to classic, folk and everything in between. Unlike iTunes or Amazon.com MP3, which enable users to download individual songs, eMusic works on a subscription basis — customers pay a flat fee every month to download a specific number of songs.

eMusic claims to be the second largest retailer of digital music worldwide behind Apple’s iTunes Store. The company has sold 40 million downloads since the launch of Amazon MP3 in September, 2007. The 200 million mark was reached less than one and a half years after the company reached the 100 million mark, according to eMusic — less than half the time that it took to reach 100 million.

By comparison, Apple recently announced that the iTunes Store is the top music retailer in the United States, even beating out Wal-Mart, based on data published by the NPD Group. The iTunes Store, with more than six million songs in its catalog, has more than 50 million customers and has sold over four billion songs.

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