MySpace’s streaming-music service hits UK

MySpace has launched its streaming-music service in the UK.

MySpace's streaming-music service hits UK

MySpace Music offers streaming access to music, as well as videos, artist profiles, playlists and charts. All of this is integrated into its core social network, as the service tries to win back users from Facebook.

Access to the site is free, but Myspace aims to make money through advertising and by taking a share of sales of concert tickets and merchandise, reflecting broader diversification in the struggling music business.

“This is indicative of the direction we want to go,” said Courtney Holt, president of MySpace Music. “We want to be a social content and media platform and we believe heavily in the socialisation of content as core to our future strategy.”

We want to be a social content and media platform and we believe heavily in the socialisation of content

“It’s not about just a passive listening experience. We want you to be active, we want you to go places, we want you to search for music. Music lives in places that require you to work to find it. We know our audience is hungry for discovery.”

The website is a joint venture with the four major record companies -Universal, Sony, Warner and EMI – and features catalogues from independent labels and unsigned bands.

During a brief demonstration of the site, Holt highlighted live concert footage from top artists like Eminem and Lady Gaga, interviews with stars and analytical tools allowing acts to discover the geographical spread of their online fan base.

Holt declined to discuss whether he planned to introduce a subscription service on MySpace Music as a way of raising money, claiming he was open to more partnerships in the future like the recent acquisition of music-recommendation service iLike.

“The music business is constantly evolving as new models are being evaluated. Some of this has been built by us, some of these are partners, so I think we are always on the lookout for the right way to evolve this business,” says Holt.

Holt said the consumption of music was changing fast, with fewer people willing buy albums when they can easily sample and buy individual tracks online.

And, with advertising revenue under pressure during the financial downturn, diversification was key not only to pop stars and record labels but also to sites like MySpace Music.

“We’re a large and live media platform for the social sharing and consumption of music, and we’re also bolting on great business opportunities – ticketing, touring events, merchandise, downloads,” says Holt.

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