Thursday, September 25, 2008

MySpace Music Launches, Puts The Industry On The Right Track

MySpace has done something incredible at a big picture level: they’ve created both a compelling music experience for users as well as a realistic, long term business model for labels and artists in a world where recorded music moves towards free. MySpace music combines free on-demand streaming music with buyable downloads from Amazon, ringtones and video and other content. Soon the service will offer artist merchandise (tshirts, etc.) and concert tickets. Users can create public or private playlists and embed music onto their profile pages. A nice touch - 65% of MySpace users add songs to their profile, and MySpace aggregates every song you’ve added to your profile and makes an initial playlist out of it for you. Artist pages, which previously only had a few promotional tracks, now include entire catalogs of their music. Any song can be clicked and added to a playlist. The big labels own around 40% of MySpace Music. MySpace owns the other 60%, and presumably new employees, like the pending CEO hire, will dilute everyone. That 40% may be worth as much as $800 million already, on paper at least. So right off the bat labels are pretty happy.

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