Monday, May 28, 2007

Tzadik leaves eMusic

Tzadik - Radical Jewish Culture
The alert went out on May 7, but I missed it.
“Tzadik alert! “Be sure to grab anything you've been meaning to get, looks like they are pulling out [of eMusic], sadly. Unless it's a coincidence, there is an article about them not being happy and their albums are not showing up in lists.”
When I logged in next, it was too late. Tzadik had pulled the plug. It seems that John Zorn’s record label (which includes the influential Radical Jewish Culture recordings) has decided that eMusic wasn’t a good business deal for them anymore. The blogs and eMusic message board were aflutter. Book of Normans, for example, has a good write-up. Should they have? Shouldn't they have? Were they smart or clueless? There are lots of opinions out there.

Personally, I'm disappointed. eMusic provides me a good value and I've bought far more Radical Jewish Culture recordings than I would have if I had buy them directly from Tzadik. This isn't speculation. I've about tripled my RJC collection since I signed up for eMusic. The thing is that I find that buying RJC recordings a risky proposition. That's to be expected with anything radical, right? Some are truely amazing, but I've a couple that didn't work for me at all. But that's ok. Because eMusic offered less product (no physical CD) but asked for less $$, I've always felt less risk adverse. So what if one album isn't so hot? I get a bunch more downloads next month to try again.

But, this is business. I respect Tzadik's right to make whatever business decisions they feel are in the best interest of their, and their artists, long term viability. This is also Internet business. I think we'll be seeing various business models and price points being experimented with over the next few years. I hope that Tzadik continues to be a leader in this experimentation as well.


Anonymous said...

I'm disapointed as well. I was able to get a Steven Bernstein album just in the nick of time. Tzadik needs to do what's best for them, though.

Jack said...

I had actually signed in to eMusic to see if they had any Zorn's Mazada recordings that I didn't have yet. I was planning on blowing a full month's download quota (about 7 albums) on Tzadik. Sigh.

Lazer Kaufman said...

Thanks so much for reading that post. I'm glad other people feel the same way.

Jack said...

Sure thing Lazer. I thought you made all the right points and I appreciated your links to the Washington Post article and David Pakman quote on 17 dots.

And, for the record, I'm a Hawkeye and Green Lantern kind of guy.