I don’t know why it should surprise me that eMusic is now the second leading download service behind iTunes on the strength of its deep (albeit jazz- and indie-heavy) catalog and its MP3-based DRM-free downloads, but it does. (See this decent profile in USA Today for details.)
The most irritating sentence in the article? “That eMusic has found any traction is surprising, as it doesn’t have any big hits. No music from major labels means nothing from chart-toppers such as Shakira, Beyoncé or U2 — but plenty from Scott H. Biram, the Pipettes, Dashboard Confessional and Peaches.” It’s not surprising to this music lover. Hits are for music industry people, so they can make a quick buck and get out; music lovers prefer something real, such as the Merge Records catalog, the Prestige and Riverside collections, Alan Lomax recordings, Harmonia Mundi… Ah, but I’ve said it all before.