Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Tuesday, June 22

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« DIY DIY DIY, My Darling! Dude. Seriously. »

News Wed May 09 2007

The Trouble With eMusic

The city of Chicago and it's citizens play prominent roles in the latest online music retailing brouhaha according to an article published on Yahoo. It turns out that at last week's NARM meeting (held in Chicago) there was the start of a mini revolt against eMusic. It turns out some record labels aren't that thrilled with the pricing policy/profit payout that eMusic has put into place. In a nutshell that policy is to keep costs low, sell songs on the cheap and pay out a smaller percentage than iTunes and other digital sites. According to CEO David Packman, "There's no question that eMusic pays less on a per-track basis than other a la carte digital services," Pakman says. But "it's not clear that 99 cents a song is the right price ... Music is an elastic good. If you lower the price, you'll sell more, and if you raise the price, you'll sell less." The hope was that eMusic would sell songs in such high volume that labels would be happy with the service. But with iTunes paying out $.70 per song vs. eMusic's paltry $.12 per song that arguement doesn't seem to be flying with certain labels.

Chicago's Victory label was the first to bolt, but now 6 more labels are rumored to be leaving eMusic. Despite being a fan of the service, Drag City's digital guru, Rian Murphy, also sounds the alarm, "I'm a subscriber of eMusic, and I love it," says Rian Murphy, head of digital sales for Chicago-based Drag City, who says he has no plans to leave the service. "But from the point of view of the label, the profit margin is greatly constricted, and it's a concern to anyone selling records. They would be better off being more equitable, or they will probably lose some labels. Everyone has to live."

This may be a case of the labels looking to pressure eMusic to re-negotiate or it may be the beginning of the end of a popular online destination for independent music.

GB store
GB store

Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

GB store


Featured Series


Transmission on Flickr

Join the Transmission Flickr Pool.

About Transmission

Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Sarah Brooks,
Transmission staff inbox:



Transmission Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15