The label was founded by the Lied der Zeit Schallplatten-Gesellschaft mbH, which was founded in 1947 as a company of the singer Ernst Busch. After the expropriation of Ernst Busch in 1953, the state-owned company VEB Deutsche Schallplatten was formed from this company.
For contemporary serious music a subsidiary called NOVA was founded.
Around 1963 the label LITERA was founded for literary texts, readings, theater and radio plays as well as political documentations.
Eterna CDs were produced by the Prague Supraphon.
The record prices were determined by the state. Records of NOVA cost 10.10 GDR-Marks , LITERA and ETERNA 12.10 GDR-Marks.
In 1985, Eterna – licensed by the West German Teldec – released four “Direct Metal Mastering” (DMM) LPs, starting in 1986 there were numerous other DMM records from ETERNA.
The productions of classical and new music were subsidized by the higher proceeds of the popular productions on the label Amiga (selling price mostly 16.10 GDR-Marks).
In the West, recordings of the Eterna label were distributed by major record companies such as Deutsche Grammophon, Telefunken, Ariola Eurodisc, Philips and EMI.
Conversely, Eterna distributed recordings with western orchestras and soloists under license in the GDR. With the German gramophone there were also in the 1950s, co-productions.