Now shipping....

it's finally here.

myspacemusic is about to launch its new music service, backed by all the majors except emi (which rumor has it will join once the service is launched.)

it's a free streaming website (built on an ad supported model) that will also provide an opportunity for a paid download via amazon.

here are a few excerpts:

"Greg Scholl, chief executive of the Orchard, the largest distributor of digital music from independent labels, says a music business based on advertising 'could well dwarf today’s $30 billion global recorded music industry.'

Mr. Scholl’s endorsement is something of a coup for the service. He questioned the effort in a public e-mail message to independent labels when it was first announced. But the Orchard is now set to make its catalog of more than a million songs available to the site."

"'To the average consumer, music is already free,” said Rich Greenfield, an analyst at Pali Research. MySpace Music, he said, “is the labels now acquiescing to that fact.'

They are also trying to profit from it. People familiar with the arrangement between the News Corporation and the studios say that the labels own about a 40 percent stake in the new venture, with Universal Music, the largest label, owning the biggest share. That would give the music companies a direct interest in MySpace Music’s success. People briefed on the deals say they have given MySpace favorable terms — and waived the penny-a-play fee that is charged to other streaming music sites. MySpace would not comment on terms of the deals with the record labels."

not to beat a dead horse when it comes to the ad supported model, but it seems clear that this is the emerging new business model that seems to be gaining more acceptance by the market and the teetering music industry.

it will force more independent artists to reframe themselves as entrepreneurs, but it also gives them more of an opportunity to create revenue streams and marketing opportunities that could help them become self-supporting enterprises.

is this music business 2.0?

Tags: advertising, artists, branded, brands, breaking, brilliance, bullshit, business, entertainment, future, More…marketing, music

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I don't know Steve. It seems like this is another "top down" model. I have survived and found happiness as an "independent" by being my own entrepreneur for many years. The whole thing about being "indie" is that you make your own model. This is nothing new.

The "ad supported" model may be here to stay but it is more relevant to artists who would have "major" appeal.

More on this later. Right now I'm getting ready for a recording session.

p.s. I'm very interested in talking to you about this topic. But a little shy about expressing my views in a public forum. If you'ld ever like to do lunch, I'm buying!

Please don't be shy, especially if you're an indie as you say. I endorse your way and think the ad driven stuff is just a money generator for someone else wanting to make a buck off of your talent and abilities.
The ad generated business in my opinion, (admittedly I partake in it), is just starting the vicious cycle over again.
Lest we forget, music is an art form of self expression. Lets hold on to that while everyone catches their breath; could we?

Thanks for the support Rolff,
I let off a little steam over at Steve's "madison and music row" forum that's related to this topic.

Right now I'm headin' out to do a little "self expressin".

Honestly, I really don't see this having a huge effect on the music industry. From what I can tell, if consumers want to take the songs with them, they still have to go over to Amazon and purchase them. The whole thing about ad supported music is finding a way to subsidize people's purchase of songs so that they can take them with them. All this seems to do is try to funnel them to a different place while providing labels a small piece of the advertising pie. In the end, I don't think people are any more likely to download songs legally from amazon than they are from iTunes and I don't think this provides any incentive for them to leave iTunes.
I seriously question the idea that the internet is the key!

That's exactly what all the Wall Street pundits said about broadcasting during the late 1920s and television during the late 1940s. Radio, records and movies have all been supposed to go away a half century ago but it never happened. If history means anything, I'd argue the internet is simply a different medium that won't really replace anything although it will raise the bar and change the requirements for other media to remain engaging.

I've never seen a case where the advertiser doesn't ultimately want to control all content associated with their ad. Radio could only operate free of this between the 1950s when it was considered on its last legs financially and the 1990s when cheap computing finally made the kind of market research that had already turned television into a "vast wasteland" affordable to advertisers. The need to please advertisers is music's biggest single creative problem today. I'd argue this is a big part of why we now have a few generations who view recordings as being mere genre-flavored background music that isn't worth paying for.

It's very hard for me to imagine any advertising supported media being a solution to connecting new artists and fans together. No advertiser is going to be willing to take that kind of risk when for the same money they can be associated with a "known" quantity.
The most basic problem is that advertisers will only generally support what's old while ordinary people are more than happy to embrace what's new provided they can get exposed to it.
Every artist is both the brand and the star salesperson. Entertainment is by definition a bottom-up, totally branded business. Any attempt to treat it as being generic or manage it from the top down is destined to fail.

This is a lot of why Wall Street and Sand Hill Road can't possibly comprehend the entertainment business. It's a clash of egos at the most basic level.
It will once again probably be an end-run around Madison Avenue using local and regional venues that appeal to high school and college kids. Music is a social thing. People go hear certain artists to meet and hang out with other fans.

Think about what Alan Freed, Bill Graham and Albert Grossman did while the industry was still oriented around swing bands.
I'd just like to add that I've had a horrible experience with the Orchard, their customer service and ability to get music on itunes for an indie artist can take up to a couple years if ever. A label I created for an artist's cd project was put on the backburner. I have nothing but horrible things to say about the company. Before I signed with them, a friend warned against it. Saying that several artist friends never got paid a dime for their royalties. If I hear anything with the "The Orchard" attached to it I run and think it's a scam. Feel free to email me if you have any specific questions. I highly discourage working with them in any fashion. I could have gotten the cd on itunes with cd baby much easier...
On a more simple note--

If this venture means in the end will have more music selection available for mp3 download, I'm all for it.

I switched from iTunes to Amazon to buy mp3s a while back and the only downside is a slightly limited selection.

iTunes = protected AAC files at 128 kbps (which is not my preferred compression rate, and I'd say too low)
99 cents per song (option of slightly more $ for a better compression rate)

Amazon = unprotected Mp3 files at 256 kbps (which is over my typical compression rate that I rip the CDs I own)
89 cents per song

It was simple to me when it first started.... you have more freedom with the product you purchase, it's 10 cents cheaper and it's double the quality.


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