Posted at 2:58 PM on April 2, 2008
by Jeff Horwich
Not seeing it anywhere else on the web yet, but the wires just flashed an exclusive little item from Reuters:
NEW YORK (Reuters) - News Corp's MySpace, the world largest social networking site, will unveil a joint venture with at least three major music companies within 5 days, sources familiar with the matter said Wednesday. Called MySpace Music, the service will be integrated with MySpace.com and is being touted as a rival to Apple Inc's iTunes online music store. It will offer music streaming, MP3 downloads, concert tickets, ringtones and merchandising, the sources said. News Corp, Warner Music Group Corp, Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group will each have a stake in the venture, the sources said. It is not clear if EMI Group, the fourth largest music label, will be involved.
(Update: Reuters has now posted the news item on its web site.)
Is this the iTunes killer? I'll admit, as a huge user of subscription services (Rhapsody has changed my life) I have been hugely frustrated to watch an inferior product and delivery model (iTunes) so dominate the scene.
(Seems like a nice time to bust out this snarky little graphic I made a couple years ago when I did an episode of Future Tense about this:)
The fact that the MySpace product will offer "streaming" suggests to me there will be some embrace of the subscription model (even if they'll still offer up paid MP3 downloads for the suckers whose heads explode at the thought of not shelling out a per-song fee).
Anybody else as anxious as I am for more iTunes competition? Does MySpace have what it takes? Here's a poll on the matter:
I'm anxious as well for an iTunes competitor. I think that subscription services are the future of the industry and I imagine that labels will eventually offer them by themselves. Unless Myspace were to somehow offer a hardware component though, I doubt they can offer much of a rival to iTunes - it's the ease of uploading to iPods from iTunes which has led iTunes to the top.