Myspace Pulls The Rug From Under Spotify’s Feet – Summary of Todays Big Myspace Update

Today has seen the launch of the latest incarnation of Myspace Music. Unlike previous updates, these are not simply a few design changes but a complete shift in the News Corporation owned company’s offering.

Where Spotify has led the way in streamed music, Myspace appears to have built on this with a much larger music library and, this is the hook, for free. Music streaming from Myspace will continue to be ad funded but crucially, unlike Spotify, adverts will not interrupt listeners between songs. Courtney Holt, President of Myspace Music told BBC 6 Music:

“We provide streaming audio, video, a comprehensive suite of artist tools, original content and programming all wrapped up together in one nice package”

Also now available on the new improved site will be DRM free MP3 downloads in conjunction with Apple iTunes.

Possibly though, this move has come too late with Last.fm seeing around 40 million monthly users of its music streaming service and Spotify gaining a great deal of press and publicity. Spotify has also made music more social by allowing playlist sharing. Myspace has taken note of this and now also offers users the option of sharing their Myspace playlists (although for some reason they are currently featuring a playlist by that epitome of d-list narcissistic vanity, Jordan).

I’m sure it’s in the pipeline but I look forward to the iphone app (as they have just partnered with Apple for the DRM free downloads, or desktop player. What Spotify and Last.fm have done really well is allow users to listen to their music as easily as posibble, Last.fm with it’s ‘scrobbling‘ and Spotify with its desktop application and both with their respective iphone apps. I envisage a whole lot more partnering if they are to gain back market share. Last.fm did this well when it partnered with X-box Live and saw 1 million additional users sign up in just a few days (300 new users per minute). We are in the age of collaboration for mutual gain.

Fiat are the first to be involved with the new playlist function with following their successful ‘500c’ Spotify playlist. Their Myspace page allows users to select a playlist of song from any of the last 16 years, to mark the 16th birthday of the Fiat Punto. They only have three friends though so far…

Advertisements

Spotify To Take On Myspace By Allowing Music Uploads?

spotify vs myspace

One of the (few) good points remaining that Myspace has to offer is it’s music upload function. Artists can, with relative ease, create a profile and upload their music to their page. This then allows users of Myspace to listen to tracks and discover favourite new bands.

Spotify has now hinted that it too will soon be allowing artists to upload their own tracks to the music streaming service.  Here’s what they say on their website:

“We are constantly adding albums and tracks to Spotify and want to offer our users all of the music in the world. We aim to release an uploading platform relatively soon so that content owners can partner with us easily.”

Spotify is currently allowing artists to register their interest and no date is set nor details given on how this will work. It will probably however only allow labels or signed artists to upload rather than every Tom, Dick and Arctic Monkey to upload music.

Watch this space!

Universal and Bruno Give a Lesson in Social Media

When was the last time you saw a film released with out an official website? The answer is probably quite a long time ago. All of this summers releases will no doubt guide audiences to official websites. These sites will no doubt provide some kind of movie trailer, a few pics, a news and events section and of course the film’s release date.

Bruno doesn’t. Nope not an official website in sight. The closest you get is a very unofficial ‘The Bruno Movie‘ site.  Perhaps this has been subtly engineered by Universal as a back up back? I doubt it. A downside to this is that none of the below mentioned social media channels feature very highly SEO wise, but with so much hype surrounding the film this is of little consequence.

Perfect Character

What the marketeers at Universal have done though is create a huge social media presence around the Bruno film. A film that has a character at its centre is perhaps always going to benefit from social media. It is easier to create a Twitter account for Bruno than for Transformers (although they have a great social media campaign – just in a different way)

Myspace

Bruno Meinspace

This is basically the film’s website. The Bruno franchise has taken over a Myspace page with special dispensation to sit on a custom URL www.meinspace.com .

This page has the movie trailer, links to Facebook and Twitter, a ‘bio’ about Bruno and Myspace friends.

Twitter

Brunovassup Over 25,000 followers

Bruno twitter

Brun’s Twitter is a comedic set of tweets (depending on your sense of humour) written by Bruno. The updates are most probably ghost tweeted although they are uncannily similar to the characters on screen antics so maybe Sacha Baron Cohen does supply them? It is only updated roughly 1-2 times a week so perhaps Sacha finds the odd minute to update.

Facebook

Then there is of course the character’s Facebook page. This is done well with Facebook live stream, allowing fans to discuss the film using their Facebook status. They have a much used wall and photo gallery.

Buzz

Not only did Universal (or their agency) create the social media presence, they also created a buzz and awareness around the campaign. Facebook is a graveyard of pages with no fans so this is half the campaign battle. The offline activity must surely of helped and was more than likely carefully choreographed in to the promotion schedule. Bruno landing in Eminem’s lap at the MTV awards has seen 100 million views. Universal didn’t even need to set up a specific Youtube channel as this kind of publicity drives itself.

Overview

The best thing about this campaign is just that. It’s a campaign. Not a series of abstract and unconnected social profiles like so many corporate social campaigns end up being. There is a consistency through each of the Twitter, Facebook and Myspace profiles which ensures interaction with fans. The last status update on Bruno’s Facebook page for example had over 7300 ‘likes’ in 9 hours.The Facebook page has over 453,000 fans, Twitter 25,000 and Meinspace 136,000 fans.

Thats good interaction and what does interaction mean? Box office receipts!

Further reading:

Adage on Bruno saving Myspace
Nick Burcher
Happy Bruno.com


Smartphones to stream Myspace? (except the iPhone)

The next breakthrough in digital music will surely be streamed mobile music. Will this make MP3 players redundant? Only time will tell.

Today Mashable reported on a presentation given by Adobe concerning the implementation of Flash 10 to Android, Palm, WebOS, Windows Mobile and Symbian. The obvious exclusion on this list is of course the ubiquitous iPhone.

The actual wording in the presentation states:

“Flash Player 10 for smartphone-class devices to be made available in beta at (the) MAX conference in October”

adobe flash

So this indicates that the update will happen between the 4th-7th October 2009.

And why is this being reported as social media news? Well the best thing about Myspace is is music and video catalogue. The worst thing (to me) about Myspace is that I can’t stream my favourite new music straight to my phone as their music player currently uses Flash 10.

Myspace logo

If the proposed smartphone update goes ahead, and it does allow music streaming from Myspace then this could well be the kiss of life to a dying social behemoth. It may also be a cause for concern for Spotify and Last.fm, both of which have released music streaming apps for mobile devices but neither of which have the user base of Myspace.

So…watch this space.

BBC Music Beta


Open source seems to be the way forward at the moment for large UK organisations. February saw the launch of Guardian Open Platform which allows 3rd parties to utilise their API to create useful applications.

The BBC has now launched their music beta called….BBC Music. The new site aims to be an aggregator of data from both internal sources (BBC) and external sources (Musicbrainz, Wikipedia). The aim? Well their intention appear to be entirely altruistic. To create a hub for music whereby info from across the wide spectrum of BBC sites/microsites is pulled together to create a single, consolidated platform for music. They are also “now publishing several hundred thousand pages automatically, which harvest third-party content from Wikipedia and MusicBrainz” (BBC Internet Blog)

What does this mean for us users?

Well essentially its makes it a whole lot easier to browse artists and to then find out more once you have reached your artist’s page.

Say I like the Arctic Monkeys. I go to BBC Music and use their nifty Flash scroll bar to find them. If they don’t appear then I can just choose to view all artists and locate them alphabetically.

Once I have found my chosen artist I am then presented with a whole host of info about them, both from within the BBC and from external sources:

– Latest news stories (from the BBC)
– Biography (Courtesy of Wikipedia)
– BBC Reviews (A mashup of all reviews from throughout the BBC on this artist)
– Now On The BBC (directs you to where they are currently appearing on BBC Online)
– Played by (Which DJ’s have played that artists music)
– Played on (Which BBC channels have played music by that artist)
– Members (Who’s in the band)
– Links (to: Official Homepage; Fansite; Wikipedia; IMDb; Myspace & MusicBrainz)


Thats a lot of information and great for users of BBC online to be able to find out so much, about so many artists. They are constantly adding new material and acknowledge that the site is very much still in the beta phase.

The one concernI had was that all of this information could be obtain by purely going to an artist’s Myspace? so what was the point? they responded by saying “you’re absolutely right. We know that our users rightly expect an artist page to contain audio – it’s what happens everywhere else on the web, isn’t it? And we’re on the case – there are technology and rights issues to consider here, but we think there’s a way round it. Watch this space.

So could BBC soon be a contender for Myspace? With the API to such a large amount of info being opened up…watch this space!

social media blog

Has Second Life become reality?

You know who your friends are and most people can count the number of their ‘real’ friends on one hand. It used to be so simple; you had a group of friends and that was it. You spoke to them on the phone, you met them in town or went round their house to play Mario Kart on a Saturday morning (ok that still happens). If you didn’t want to see someone, you didn’t. If your lives went down a different path then you lost touch unless your friendshop was strong enough to last. Survival of the fittest. You’d meet new friends along the way and so went the cycle of friendship.

NOW… I have old friends, new friends, auld enemies, weirdo’s I never spoke to, work colleagues past and present, relatives and even my parents friends all on Facebook. Then there are my aquaintances on Twitter and the old school Myspace crowd.
So does that mean I have a second life? A secret life? Are friends, like products, becoming niche items. Things to be compartmentalised and kept separate, only to be called upon when a specific need is required. I use Twitter mainly for networking but Myspace to yell about what my band are up to. I’m friends with people on Facebook who made my life hell as a kid and I thought i’d seen the back of – only for them to appear in the god dam ‘People You Might Know’ area…
The other side of the story is that this segmentation of friends helps get the most out out existing relationships and find new ones.
One things for sure…keep your social networking friends close, but your social networking enemies closer! You never know what they’re saying about you.
social media blog

Why Can’t We Be Happy With What We’ve Got?

Why can’t we be happy with what we’ve got?

Everything I know tells me that this is not a good headline for a readership that is obviously at the forefront of technology. Let me play devils advocate for one moment though to discuss a trend that is causing me slight unease. as I remember being amazed at the fact that I could sit in a room, in front of a computer screen and talk to people I’d never met before in a chat room.

Then came ICQ, MSN and their cohorts allowing friends, strangers and strange people to connect to each other in a more direct fashion. 2003 saw the advent of the great Myspace. At last we could listen to our favourite bands instantly online, message each other and then, as times moved on watch videos and write blogs; but it wasn’t enough. There was a thirst for something more niche. A bit more exclusive. Cue mass uptake of Facebook, then Bebo (for the younger guys and gals), not to mention Linked in, Faceparty and all the others that quickly emerged (I would be interested to know the exact chronological order that they appeared.)

Still not enough though. We didn’t want to trawl through blogs for information. ‘Blogs are dead’, said Wired.com recently. We can’t be bothered to read more than the status report on our Facebook page and so came Twitter et al, as we apparently aren’t interested in reading anything longer than 140 characters.

Now the time has come when we can’t even wait to get to a computer, and have to have the latest application uploaded to our i-phone and other generic third generation smartphones. Don’t get me wrong, it is of course important to be aware of every new development but do we have to jump on every single bandwagon? Does Twitter actually benefit our day to day life or does it get in the way.

So I put it to you. Instead of signing up to the latest dotcom social networking next big thing. Why not spend that time investigating what utility can really be taken from your current big thing. Surely in our role as technological overseers we have a responsibility to not only talk up every new startup but to also fully appreciate and discuss what we have at our disposal right now. That said, never take your eye off the horizon digiteers, you never know what may be around the corner.