MySpace Music Debuts With Blue-Chip Sponsors
With Amazon integrated as its download store, and sharing and discovery tools like shareable playlists, the long awaited service eventually plans to offer consumers a one-stop-shop for artist ring tones, songs, merchandise, and concert tickets.
MySpace Music is a joint venture with all the big four labels, including EMI Music, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and Sony ATV/ Music Publishing. The service is also supported by The Orchard's entire catalogue of independent digital music.
Analysts appear generally bullish on service. "MySpace has a good track record in building a platform for indie artists, and delivers the audiences," JupiterResearch analyst David Card wrote in a blog post this week. "And MySpace has already proven itself as a leading online site for music info, discovery, and listening."
But, added Card, "MySpace Music isn't quite as rich an offering as Rhapsody or Napster (yet?) though it may appeal to aficionado audiences as well as younger fans."
Industry data also supports the success of MySpace's strategy. A majority, or 51% , of the best teen music fans use social networks to find out about entertainment, and 35% use them to listen to music," according to JupiterResearch.
Also working in MySpace's favor, according to Card, is its massive ad sales force, which will be aggressively pushing sponsorship deals on the platform.
MySpace Music's four premiere launch sponsors include McDonald's, Toyota, State Farm and Sony Pictures.
McDonald's, for one, will have a presence on MySpace Music's personal music player giving away a variety of free music downloads. Separately, to promote the opening of Sony Pictures' comedy "Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist," the movie studio will be skinning all MySpace Music users' profile playlists for an entire week with branding from the film.
State Farm will have rotating ads among all pages including the Featured Playlist, the Personal Music Player, and MyMusic where members go to create and edit playlists.
Finally, with "Toyota Tuesdays," the auto company will offer free music downloads and have a strong presence on MySpace Music'siPersonal Music Player every Tuesday for a year.
This first phase of the new MySpace Music includes a MyMusic personal music management toolset; free and unlimited ad-supported, full-length audio streaming; and free and unlimited playlist functionality.
Additionally, users will have access to free discography and content catalogues for Sony BMG, UMG and WMG artists; DRM-free MP3 music e-commerce downloads powered by Amazon; and MP3 Ringtone e-commerce powered by Jamster.
The service, meanwhile, does not off for-pay on-demand subscriptions, a radio-like offering, free iTunes-compatible downloads.