MySpace Music is a newly announced venture between MySpace and three of the major record labels. But can this free ad-supported music download and streaming service revolutionise the music industry?
MySpace has long been associated with music: the two go hand in hand. Every major artist, and most of the small, unsigned ones as well, have a MySpace Music profile with short snatches of songs, blog posts, and gig details. But the new MySpace Music is taking this association much further.
Sony, Universal, and Warner have already signed up, while EMI is still negotiating. The three labels already present control around 70% of the overall music market, making MySpace Music a major player from the outset.
MySpace Music will offer the chance to stream music from featured artists and download full, free mp3s thanks to an advertising-supported business model. MySpace and the record companies also intends to make revenue by selling concert tickets, ring tones, and other selected merchandise on the new site. Basically, if it is even closely related to music, a product will be pushed on to you through MySpace Music.
In exchange, we get to have our choice of free music that thanks to no copy protection will be available to play on our PCs and mp3s players from now until the end of time. At least that’s the plan.
MySpace Music already has advertising partners in place, with McDonalds, Sony Pictures, State Farm and Toyota paying millions of dollars to have campaigns featured on the site. These companies will sponsor the free downloads of selected albums from the site.
At last it seems that the record companies are waking up to the fact that the Internet is the place to be. Not only that, but they have also finally realised that people just aren’t willing to pay for music from the Web all the while there are free alternatives. So rather than constantly go up against the sites offering these free downloads, they are trying to beat them at their own game.
I can see MySpace Music having a shaky start as all of the obvious kinks are ironed out, but after that, I can see the service not only offering music lovers on the Internet a new destination for their needs, but also the start of some acceptance by the major record labels that their existing business model is dead and they need to evolve or risk extinction.