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eMusic ditches major labels as it hopes to rule indie song downloads

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Many digital music stores scramble to get every song they can, but not eMusic -- it's willingly headed in the opposite direction. The download service has announced that it's dropping music from the three major labels (Sony, Universal and Warner) as of October 1st. After that, it will sell nothing but true-blue independent songs. The company explains that it wants to create the "most extensive catalog" of indie tunes in the world, giving it a way of standing out in a sea of mainstream stores like Google Play and iTunes.

It's a risky move, even for a music shop that has felt compelled to shake up its business model more than once. However, it may not have much to lose. According to industry execs speaking to the New York Times, eMusic's cornerstone subscription service (which gives you a fixed number of downloads every month) hasn't grown in years -- and it's not likely to get better with the rise of all-you-can-eat streaming services like Spotify. Going indie-only may lure in customers who purposefully avoid big-name bands, or simply want an easier time discovering underground artists.

[Image credit: David Jones, Flickr]

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