Panasonic Youth

How *not* to run an online store

Whats wrong with this picture? Taken from the front page of - hint: there is no “browse” link. front page

I had heard about emusic from podcasts I listen to, and was interested to check it out as they sell DRM free music from a lot of independent artists. That sounds like a perfect fit for me.

So I go to site, try to ignore the offer to start a “free trial” and find some way to search their selection. I have never been to emusic before. I have no idea if they carry artists I like or artists I’ve heard of or if its all just stuff I don’t care about. Just show me the music, right? When I hit up netflix or blockbuster, I can browse their selection and immediately plan the first ten movies I’d have in my queue if I subscribe.

After a ton of time spent searching, I finally found the music selection (go to “log in” and then “browse”). Why isn’t there a “browse” link in big text, right on the front page? A less determined visitor would have given up after about three clicks, and would never think to try to login in order to find the music.

This is a classic example of how not to do business in the “new web” - emusic is thinking of their needs and business first - more subscribers. They should be thinking of what music fans want first - a user friendly, massive selection of music.