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eMusic Reports 250 Million MP3 Downloads

Independent music retailer eMusic, said to be the world’s second-largest digital music service after iTunes, announced that it has sold 250 million MP3 downloads since establishing its current subscription model in 2003. The major milestone comprises music downloads sold in the U.S., Canada and the European Union, where eMusic is available in 26 European nations.

eMusic also announced that its catalog has surpassed 4.5 million tracks with the addition of titles from high-profile independent labels such as Righteous Babe Records, Barsuk Records and the Domino Recording Co. The Righteous Babe label, owned by singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco, includes DiFranco’s full catalog, plus releases from Andrew Bird and Arto Lindsay. Barsuk, the 10-year-old label based in Seattle, brings Mates of State, Ra Ra Riot, Nada Surf and the Long Winters. And Domino, headquartered in London, is known for music from the Arctic Monkeys, The Kills, Animal Collective and The Notwist.

“A quarter of a billion downloads sold is an incredible benchmark for a company that was selling less than one million downloads a month when it was re-launched in 2004. It shows that eMusic’s combination of value, discovery and compatibility attracts customers who want to purchase music,” says eMusic chairman Danny Stein. “eMusic plays an essential part of our labels’ and artists’ retail strategy as they seek effective ways to reach fans, build communities and sell more music.”

The 250 millionth track downloaded was from In Ear Park by Department of Eagles on the 4AD/ Beggars Group label. Compared to eMusic’s first 100 million downloads, the latest 100 million downloads took about one-third the amount of time (1,122 days vs. 453 days).

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