The New York Times is reporting that three prominent indie labels, Domino Records, Merge Records and the Beggars Group (Matador, 4AD, Rough Trade, XL) have left digital download store eMusic. The paper cited anonymous sources who said the lables pulled out because eMusic was pressuring them to accept lower wholesale rates for downloads. The loss removes albums from such prominent artists as The Arcade Fire, Vampire Weekend, Spoon, Fucked Up, Deerhunter, TV On The Radio, Pixies, The New Pornographers, Ted Leo And The Pharmacists, Bell and Sebastian, and The Decemberists from the eMusic store. You can find statements from Matador Records and eMusic's CEO Adam Klein at the Times.
eMusic, has undergone some significant changes in recent times. The organization's subscription system recently shifted from using credits to using dollars and cents. While most tracks are priced at .49 cents (roughtly the equivalent of a credit before the shift), the change allows for varaible pricing on a song-by-song basis to be introduced. eMusic has also been shedding its reputation as the indie-friendly alternative to iTunes and Amazon by introducing music from Sony and Warner Bros into its ecosystem. A deal with Universal is apparently on the horizon as well.