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…