It’s been a while since the UK had a significant digital music launch but that’s come to an end with the announcement this week from eMusic that it’s officially opened its doors in the UK. Though the pricing for the DRM-free downloads is slightly higher than the US, the remaining aspects of the service are the same as the US. To tempt folks inside, eMusic is giving away 25 free downloads to new subscribers. Subscriptions range from £9-£15 for 40 to 90 downloads a month.

In the US, eMusic has been a success, coming number two in the digital music marketplace behind iTunes with an 11% per cent market share. It ships 4.5 million tracks per month and all are sourced from the indepenet sector and ship as ubiquitous MP3 files.

While mainstream subscription services such as Napster and Rhapsody have struggled to find a mass market, eMusic has quietly built up an impressive catalogue and also set of technical solutions including dual downloading to mobile and computer. The healthy and sizeable independt sector in the UK combined with the ease of use could make for interesting reading if eMusic could succeed where others have so far failed.

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