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Musicians Starting Their Own Social Networks

  • Reuters, Monday, March 31, 2008 11:15 AM
Reuters reports that a growing number of popular musicians are starting their own social networks, rivaling the massive database of friends they've accumulated on other social networks like MySpace. 50 Cent, Kylie Minogue, Ludacris and Pussycat Dolls are just a few of the big names that have launched their own social networks, which Reuters says are becoming like next-generation versions of their own Web sites.

Why start their own social networks? "The thing that separates Thisis50 from MySpace is we control the e-mail database," says Chris "Broadway" Romero, director for new media for the record company that handles Thisis50. "We can e-mail members if we want to." More than email, artists can sell downloads and merchandise, they can even sell ads--things they can't do on MySpace or Facebook. They also own all the content and social data accumulated on these sites.

Does this mean artists will leave other social networks behind? Gina Bianchini, CEO of Ning, a company that provides social networking tools, doesn't think so. "(Artists) think about MySpace and Facebook as funnels for their own social networks. They take and use services where they don't know the users, don't have access and don't have full control, and funnel those fans to something they do control."

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