New York - Digital music service eMusic has informed subscribers that tracks from seminal independent labels Domino, Merge and Beggars Group will be removed from the service as of Nov. 18. "This is as heartbreaking to us as it is to you," reads a note on eMusic.com. "Please know we have done everything we could to keep them from leaving. Forging deals with our label partners can be pretty complex. As many of you know, labels have come and gone over the years, and we hope to see these labels back soon."
The exit by the indie labels comes as eMusic prepares to add 250,000 new tracks licensed from Universal Music to its service.
The company’s expansion into major label deals — eMusic has also licensed Sony Music and Warner Music tracks — appears to have played a role in the indies’ moves.
"We wish this hadn’t happened, but as eMusic has brought major labels on board, they have changed the terms on which they deal with labels in certain ways, some of which we have found impossible to accept, in our own interests, those of our artists, and ultimately those of their fans," reads a statement from Beggars Group.
"We have loved eMusic, and the support it has given to our music, but it was the dedicated home for independent music and is, in our view, not that any more."
A statement from Merge adds that "it would be harmful to the interests of Merge and our artists to continue our partnership [with eMusic] at this time."