Posted April 3, 2008 6:03 pm by with 13 comments

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current myspace music headerMySpace announces today that they will launch MySpace Music, a service to rival Apple’s popular iTunes music player and marketplace. Like iTunes, MySpace Music will feature streaming music, paid DRM-free MP3 downloads and music-related merchandise.

MySpace Music is a joint venture with Universal Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group. The other major recording company, EMI, may still sign on, possibly even before MySpace Music launches. The launch dates has not been set, but MySpace CEO Chris De Wolfe says that commercial features will roll out over the coming three or four months.

MySpace Chief Operating Officer Amit Kapur told Reuters that through this venture, MySpace Music “goes from being a promotional vehicle to being a commercial vehicle.” MySpace already features 5 million artists and 30 million members who listen to music through the site.

Analysts and bloggers are applauding MySpace and music companies for working to “modernize the music industry,” as CNET put it. Reuters quoted Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey as saying that

MySpace Music was the right step for music companies, but noted, “Apple will not be affected for the first few years because Apple’s iTunes store lives on the strength of Apple’s devices.”

He added, “One implication of this is that Apple may decide to improve its store experience, but I don’t honestly see it trying to compete as a social network.”

The deal is reportedly nonexclusive for the music companies. The announcement allegedly follows a settlement between MySpace and Universal over a copyright lawsuit. MySpace Music could eventually be spun off into a stand-alone venture, but De Wolfe told paidContent that it’s unlikely that they will work with distribution partners at this point.

  • That’s a great move IMO – I’m sure we’ll see this same thing out of Facebook soon. There’s so many ways to reach users with songs that they’ll like and buy…nice

  • I think it would be great as it is a joint venture of several big music companies.

  • Apple is way ahead because of the immensely popular iPod. Its gonna take MySpace quite a while to get anywhere close in popularity.

  • Will it work outside US?

  • PS3

    MySpace does, so why not?

  • I think it will be GREAT… REALLY GREAT for small bands.

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  • its a start but it will still be a long way before myspace music will be a threat to apple

  • Makes a lot of sense given MySpace’s musical roots. I’m a little surprised it’s taken them this long quite honestly.

    Nicole I’m not sure it will take MySpace as long as you think to gain popularity as a source of music downloads. MySpace already has a very large base of users.

  • Myspace and Cnet rocks!

  • I doubt that this will seriously rival iTunes, at least not for a while. Two reasons for this:

    1.) People aren’t into shopping while they’re on MySpace… this is why average click-through rates are low on social networking ads. When you’re in that mode, you’re not in a buying mode.

    2.) iTunes has covered serious ground in terms of music retail. In fact, they just announced that they’ve surpassed Wal-Mart to become the #1 US music retailer. That’s no small feat.

  • Yeah, I’m thinking that this is going to be huge exposure for the up and coming singer or band. I mean look what youtube did for the asian cat that landed himself the front man spot in Journey.

  • Myspace has always been one of my favourite places for checking out new music, so it’s quite easy to see them turning it into a market for bands to sell their music online to a large audience and member base.