Myspace is launching a service in which it’s 120 million users will be given free access to a vast library of music, which is expected by some to be the most expansive library of music on the web, if everything works out as it should. The songs can only be played online for free, but if someone wants to save the actual mp3 file into their computer, they will be redirected to the ‘pay per song’ service provided by Amazon (this should be a big boost for the service which is overshadowed by Itunes). The music will have no restrictions in terms of how many times it can be copied (certain songs purchased by Itunes can only be copied a limited amount of times) or how many playlists can be created by the user. Up to 100 songs can be added to each playlist and the main objective of the playlists are for Myspace users to be able to display them on their profile and thus expose their friends to their music in an easy and convenient way.
The record companies are participating in this experiment as an attempt to boost business, which has been failing over the years as music is becoming more easily obtainable illegally. Working with chief companies such as EMI, BMG and Universal Music Group; Myspace will attempt to build an expansive library of music which is expected to surpass that of Itunes, but they will initially only have several hundred thousand songs. Various attempts to compete with Itunes have been made (most notably, Rhapsody, Napster and Yahoo Music), offering services such as large libraries of music for monthly fees; but despite the competition, Itunes is still in the lead of online music industry. Going even further, Myspace is eventually hoping to cover more aspects of the music industry, such as selling concert tickets and band merchandise. Questions have arisen to whether or not Myspace will be able to balance and upkeep the social networking aspect of the site while adding in all these new features.
I personally think there is currently a good balance between the music and social networking aspects of Myspace, but more additions could be somewhat hectic. This is seen by many as an attempt to not only compete with Itunes, but also to regain interest in Myspace. Ever since the rise of Facebook, Myspace has failed to regain interest - I'm refering to the social networking aspect, but on the other hand, the Myspace Band pages are still unmatched by any other competitors to promote both big label and independent artists. I believe that if this works as planned and is sucessful, that Myspace could end up being a node for all aspects of music (central place to promote, buy apparel/tickets and so on). This is a huge and very risky step for Myspace to take and just may be all they need to boost music sales and to regain the competitive edge over two giants of the internet: Itunes and Facebook.
- Eric Olsen
(Article used: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26875502/wid/11915829)