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MySpace Teams With Record Companies To Create Music Site 147

Posted by Soulskill
from the competition-is-a-good-thing dept.
The New York Times reports on a deal between MySpace and three of the four major music labels to develop a new music website. Users will be able to stream songs for free, purchase downloadable tracks, and (possibly) pay a flat monthly fee for unlimited access. From the Times: "Exact terms of the deal and details about the new site, like prices for downloaded music tracks, were not disclosed. But MySpace did say the site would offer songs free of digital rights management software or D.R.M., which is used to prevent illicit copying but can create technical hurdles for buyers. The songs would be playable on any portable music device, including Apple's iPod. For the music industry, the deal is partly born of desperation. In the face of widespread, escalating online piracy, music sales dropped to $11.5 billion in 2006 from a peak in 1999 of nearly $15 billion."
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MySpace Teams With Record Companies To Create Music Site

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  • More power to them (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    It almost sounds as if they are considering treating their customers as *gasp* customers!
    • "It almost sounds as if they are considering treating their customers as *gasp* customers!"

      Quote from the Slashdot story: "In the face of widespread, escalating online piracy, music sales dropped..."

      To me, that sounds like the music industry saying, "If something bad happens, it must be someone else's fault."

      I think the falling sales are the industry's fault. I was supposed to by a Britney Spears CD to hear her singing something about abusing men? If the music industry wants strong sales, it can be kind to the customer and produce something valuable.
      • by Merusdraconis (730732) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @11:26PM (#22959830) Homepage
        "In the face of widespread, escalating online piracy, music sales dropped to $11.5 billion in 2006 from a peak in 1999 of nearly $15 billion."

        This has got less to do with piracy and more to do with Amy Winehouse's crack bill.
        • I'm sure if we look back historically there was a similar dip in revenue around the time Rick James first became popular.
        • >>>Quote from the Slashdot story: "In the face of widespread, escalating online piracy, music sales dropped..."

          Funny, but let's examine this seriously. Have music sales dropped? Yes. And no.

          - CD sales have dropped. That's true.

          - But Single sales have soared to the highest level EVER experienced by record companies. Single sales on Itunes and other online stores have sold more units than any time in history. (Funny how the record companies conveniently forgot to mention that fact. What's that
          • by NtroP (649992)

            >>>Quote from the Slashdot story: "In the face of widespread, escalating online piracy, music sales dropped..." Funny, but let's examine this seriously. Have music sales dropped? Yes. And no. - CD sales have dropped. That's true. - But Single sales have soared to the highest level EVER experienced by record companies. Single sales on Itunes and other online stores have sold more units than any time in history. (Funny how the record companies conveniently forgot to mention that fact. What's that old saying? "Lying with statistics"?)

            I agree. I also think there is another major reason for the change: People consume media in general and music specifically in a much different way these days. In the "olde days", if you wanted to listen to music you either schlepped a tape-player (and all your tapes) or your CD player (and all your CDs) which was a pain. So generally you'd maybe pop a tape or CD in your walkman and just take that. So, in essence you had a hand-full of your favorite songs with you and then you got bored. So you'd list

      • I was supposed to by a Britney Spears CD to hear her singing something about abusing men?
        Britney Spears songs objectify men?

        I'm sure the femanazis are pleased.
      • Are you saying you have pirated copies of Britney Spears? Golly, you have terrible taste in music! When I pirate music, I choose some of the vast amounts of excellent music also put out by the record industry. You should look into it, there's a ton of it.
  • Because of iTunes? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by trawg (308495) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @09:40PM (#22959132) Homepage
    There's a few things like this and I've seen several people attribute them to the iTunes 'stranglehold' on the market.

    I think its sort of awesome; we're seeing more variety and more competition in the market now than ever before. Of course that's not saying much when before was more or less == 0, but hey - it's a start.

    While I have long been skeptical of the record industries ability to do anything other than try to ream consumers, the fact that they seem finally willing to ditch DRM en masse is certainly giving me some hope for the future.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      I like it to.

      I just hope they don't stick glittery shit all over my MP3's.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 03, 2008 @09:49PM (#22959206)
      While I have long been skeptical of MySpace's ability to do anything other than try to cause seizures in people, the fact that they seem finally willing to do something useful en masse is certainly giving me some hope for the future.

      Unfortunately, I am not looking forward to the auditory equivalent of MySpace.
    • by samkass (174571) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @11:01PM (#22959686) Homepage Journal
      iTunes is the only thing standing between the consumer and the record labels desire to charge $2.99 per track. The illusion of competition evaporates when you realize that all the popular music is owned by a couple of companies. They have the monopoly. If iTunes "stranglehold" on distribution is broken, it will become the consumer against the record labels directly, without Apple to stand in the way. That's why other sites are able to offer such deals-- the record labels are intentionally trying to break Apple's control of distribution not out of altruism but because they think that it will lead to increased profits (ie. higher prices) down the line.
      • by yotto (590067) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @11:09PM (#22959738) Homepage
        Yeah! If there's competition between iTunes and MySpace, and MySpace charges $2.99 per track like the RIAA wants, Whatever will Apple do? They'll be forced to raise their prices to $2.99 just to compete!
        • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday April 04, 2008 @02:21AM (#22960506)

          Yeah! If there's competition between iTunes and MySpace, and MySpace charges $2.99 per track like the RIAA wants, Whatever will Apple do? They'll be forced to raise their prices to $2.99 just to compete!
          I guess it is not obvious.

          The competition between itunes and myspace is not for the consumer dollar, it is for the music industry's product. If myspace gets enough traction with consumers the MAFIAA can tell Jobs to stick that 99 cents up his ass, because they are going to stop supplying music to itunes for sale - instead they will switch over all of their product to myspace and it's $2.99 prices.

          Apple is left with no songs to sell, and the music industry gets to start raping and pillaging again with the help of their old buddy, Rupert Murdoch.
          • by MoriaOrc (822758) on Friday April 04, 2008 @04:46AM (#22960988)
            1) iTunes charges $.99 per song.
            2) RIAA licenses MySpace/Amazon/Microsoft/etc to also provide the same or a wider selection of music. (This is where we are now.)
            2a) If [New Competitor] has more restrictive DRM or offers a worse deal, or more likely when it doesn't work with their iPods, it fails to gain traction and eventually closes shop. (This has happened several times.)
            3) Consumers flock to [new competitor] thanks to their clear advantage over the iTunes store. (warning: entering extremely hypothetical territory)
            4) Record companies "tell Jobs where he can stick that 99 cents," call up [new competitor] and tell them its time to up the price to 2.99 a track!
            4a) If [new competitor] complies, consumers flock out in droves quicker then they came in, [new competitor] closes up shop. Record companies better renegotiate to (1) before things get even worse for them.
            5) More likely, [new competitor] realizes that a price hike of just about any size (let alone a 200% increase) will cause (4a) and tells the record companies where it can stick it's 2.99.

            Record companies decision time:
            Deal with the new monopoly and it's improved (from a consumer perspective) standards: goto (1), replacing iTunes with [new competitor].
            Attempt to break the new monopoly by driving consumers to a new store, where prices can be raised: goto (2), and probably to (2a) not long after.

            Seriously, consumers have had $.99 songs for too long now to accept a price hike with no justification. This theory someone always pops up when a new store is announced, that once they get a big enough market share iTunes will get the boot and prices will go through the roof. It's crazier than the RIAA litigation strategy.

            We've seen countless new online music stores fail to grab more then a tiny segment of the market from Apple. This one doesn't seem to offer much that hasn't been tried better before, including name-brand recognition.
            • 4a) If [new competitor] complies, consumers flock out in droves quicker then they came in,

              Where do you propose that they "flock out" to?
              They've been trained to buy online and if the only places to buy are overpriced, then that's where they will buy. After all, they've been buying overpriced CDs forever and the MAFIAA's marketing is relentless.

              Seriously, consumers have had $.99 songs for too long now to accept a price hike with no justification. This theory someone always pops up when a new store is announced, that once they get a big enough market share iTunes will get the boot and prices will go through the roof. It's crazier than the RIAA litigation strategy.

              Sorry, I really don't think you've shown any plausible supporting evidence or reasoning for that claim. Weren't you paying attention to all the news reports a year ago that were 'leaked' by the MAFIAA about how they were trying to renegotiate with Jobs

              • by Poltras (680608)
                Right now, I'm using iTMS to get my music (almost all of it). I'm sometimes looking for alternative services (if they are cheaper or have tunes I can't get on iTMS). I would gladly go back to Piracy if the price of a song increases more than the inflation. Or just more than the value I'd give it. On any shop, iTMS included.
              • by MoriaOrc (822758)
                My main complaint with this line of reasoning is this:

                If they can't muscle around one company who sells online music (Apple) to get higher prices, what makes you think they're going to be able to do it with the next hypothetical "Online Music Monopoly" (assuming they can even create a new one while destroying Apple's)?

                Where do you propose that they "flock out" to?

                A couple of other people have already given you the most obvious answer: consumers can always go back to piracy to some degree. If the recording companies do somehow manage to triple the cos

                • If they can't muscle around one company who sells online music (Apple) to get higher prices, what makes you think they're going to be able to do it with the next hypothetical "Online Music Monopoly" (assuming they can even create a new one while destroying Apple's)?

                  1) Myspace is Rupert Murdoch's toy - aka it is part of the MAFIAA already
                  2) Contractual agreements. The only reason itunes isn't contractually bound to the MAFIAA's will was their single-minded focus on DRM to the exclusion of all else. Bit them in the ass it did, they won't let that happen again.

                  A couple of other people have already given you the most obvious answer: consumers can always go back to piracy to some degree.

                  Yeah, and frankly those couple of other people are dumbshits. I laid out what I thought was an obvious explanation for why piracy wouldn't happen - because piracy of CDs wasn't enough to kill them and even at

                  • by MoriaOrc (822758)
                    I'm just going to throw a couple things out there at random and be done with this conversation, since I've made my point (twice) and we clearly don't agree.

                    1) The monopoly entry strategy of "in the red until there's no more competition, then jack up the price" isn't going to work on the current online music store market. The market already has too many choices, many of them offering the same content.

                    2) At the very least, no one is unseating iTunes in the next several years. They're too entrenched. They h
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by danielsfca2 (696792)
            Well, i'm glad somebody gets it besides just me.

            The Apple-haters can't seem to fathom that Apple's market power in this particular industry is good for us all even if you hate Apple, iPods, iTunes, MP4AAC, and DRM. The reason being, while Apple may piss you off sometimes, they ARE the only ones selling major-label music today who aren't 100% the RIAA labels' bitch.

            As more and more of this DRM-Free-Elsewhere-But-Still-Insisting-on-DRM-in-iTunes shit keeps going down it gets more and more clear what their #1
            • DRM is easily defeated by dumping it to a Type IV Metal cassette recorder (like the one I've used the last 20 years). Or a Hi-Fi VCR for that matter.

              Perhaps that's why companies are deliberately yanking these old analog devices off the market.

          • >>>"MAFIAA can tell Jobs to stick that 99 cents up his ass, because they are going to stop supplying music to itunes for sale - instead they will switch over all of their product to myspace and it's $2.99 prices."

            Wouldn't such an action violate several anti-trust and anti-cartel laws with both the U.S. and the E.U.?

            (just curious)

            BTW $3.00 for a music datafile is ridiculous. I used to buy 45s or Cassettesingles, and they cost about $3.00 which made logical sense because they were made of plastic (w
            • by Miseph (979059)
              "Wouldn't such an action violate several anti-trust and anti-cartel laws with both the U.S. and the E.U.?"

              In the words of our ever thoughtful VP: So? They write the laws and hire the prosecutors, so what incentive do they really have to follow the laws. These are massive companies which have dominated mass media for a century, if you're banking on politicians to break them up, you've got the wrong ideas about who has who in their pocket. If you thought the efforts to penalize Microsoft were pathetic and spi
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Draek (916851)
        You know things are fucked up when you have to depend on a monopoly to keep another monopoly within bounds.

        Though personally I'd still take the extra competition, the RIAA is going under no matter what, and I'm willing to put up with a bit more trashing if it means we won't end up with another Microsoft.
        • by loganrapp (975327)
          Just because you really really want the RIAA to go under, doesn't mean it's going to happen.


          The **AA isn't going to die until it's dead.

  • I'd like to see if they let independent artists who haven't signed with a label for a record deal yet sell their music on MySpace. TFA provides too little information, but this could end up as a good way for starving artists to stop starving.
    • by mweather (1089505)

      I'd like to see if they let independent artists who haven't signed with a label for a record deal yet sell their music on MySpace.
      They already do.
  • last.fm? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 03, 2008 @09:45PM (#22959166)
    Doesn't last.fm already offer this, save the monthly fee?
    • by joeljkp (254783)
      You're talking about free full-length streams?

      Right now (supposedly) there's free.napster.com [napster.com], last.fm [last.fm], and lala.com [lala.com], but I've only had success with the first. The other two don't seem to have much of a selection. When I try to stream an album, they'll give me a couple songs from it, or 30s samples only, or something like that.
  • by rastoboy29 (807168) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @09:47PM (#22959184) Homepage
    Ten years ago I predicted .04 cents per song to be the natural price for an mp3, and that's all they need to do to get me to pay.

    Who wants to keep track of all this crap on your hard drive?  I'll pay four cents every time I want to hear most songs.

    And if, for some reason, I want to save it as an mp3, I expect to be able to do so, with no arguments.

    You serve me, RIAA bitches, not the other way around.  Maybe you're starting to understand this you stupid fucking bastards.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 03, 2008 @10:59PM (#22959676)
      If you insist on using that font, I must mark you as "foe".
    • .04 dollars or .04 cents?
      • Damn, you beat me to it.

      • by xant (99438)
        GP actually does seem to be saying .04 cents i.e. $0.0004, because he oddly seems to be advocating a pay-per-play model. $4 for a track I play 1000 times sounds about right to me too, but I certainly dont' want to get the printed paper bill for THAT service.
        • by xant (99438)
          Whoops, funny math. I guess that's 40 cents per thousand. That seems a bit low.

          Anyway, I've always said $0.25 per song, and no damn DRM, is my sweet spot. Apple's $1 per track can blow me.. that's basically what I was paying the music industry for albums, back when I gave a shit about buying music.
    • by CSMatt (1175471)
      I'm sorry, but I just can't buy into the argument that $1 per-track is too expensive or that CDs in general are overpriced. Not when video games are $60 each.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by zenkonami (971656)

        I'm sorry, but I just can't buy into the argument that $1 per-track is too expensive or that CDs in general are overpriced. Not when video games are $60 each.

        Starbucks charges more than $1.50 for a plain cup of coffee.

        At the Ralphs Grocery Store down the street (they are an average, Kroger owned supermarket), the generic loaf of white bread cost $2.00.

        At the pump, regular unleaded gasoline was $3.69 a gallon two days ago.

        Mass Market Paperback books range from $5.99 to $9.99.

        New Release DVDs have been between $2.00 to $6.00 for several years now...to RENT

        At this point, you can have most songs a la carte, without the baggage of songs you dislike. If w

        • by mdenham (747985)

          And just in case anyone suggests that all those items mentioned above are physical objects and thus have more value than the ethereal song, consider any time you may have spent working in retail, or a service industry, where you produced nothing of "value." We don't consider that work worthless in our society.

          The way I got treated back then, you coulda fooled me that we, and our work, weren't considered worthless. This is why I have a manufacturing job that pays, instead of $7.90/hr, $13.22/hr.

          It's not much of an improvement, but at least it is one.

      • A video game takes a bit more than an hour, and definitely takes more effort to produce.
    • by Omestes (471991)
      I'll pay four cents every time I want to hear most songs.

      Ouch. Some days I have music playing 24/7, that would add up DAMN fast. Until I reset last.fm was telling me I played 15,000 songs in the last year, this is a sum of money FAR beyond my means.

      I know you suffixed this with being able to save to MP3 at will. Which makes more sense. But is a pipe dream. The only way I ever see 4c being a viable sum is if we completely removed the middle man (both on retail, distro, and RIAA), and even then it would
      • Hmm, first you say 4 cents is too expensive, but then you say 10-25c is fair?

        hehe I mean this constructively...

        However, I think 4 cents a song is fair for at-will downloading.  Streaming radio will be much less, or more likely free, I think, in the end.
        • by Omestes (471991)
          Sorry, a little semantic tangling and beer was involved in the confusion.

          I meant 4c would be too much for a pay-to-play model, like you described in your first paragraph, on the customer end.

          But for an iTunes Music Store like business model, or direct downloads from independent band sites, 10-25c is fair.

          Streaming radio should remain free to listeners, agreed.

          Sorry again.
  • by kermit1221 (75994)
    Ya, it's piracy's fault that music sales dropped 3.5 billion in seven years.

    I'm sure that the cost of gasoline doubling in that same time had nothing to do with people buying fewer CDs.
    • by mkiwi (585287)
      The recording industry can blame itself for its crappy music. People don't want to buy their music because all the music that comes out now is a terrible combination of Pop, Funk, and Rap.

      Just think of how well Britney Spears was doing at that time, then look now. That is the look of the recoding industry.

      • by CSMatt (1175471) on Friday April 04, 2008 @01:00AM (#22960234)
        Or you could look at it as the target audience diversifying far more than they ever did before.

        From the inception of vinyl until the turn of the century, most people just bought pop music, because that was the only music they could hear at the time. There was nothing to compare contemporary music to, so people bought it out of ignorance. Generation gaps, outdated and worn out audio formats, scarcity due to albums going out of print, and a general lack of interest or time/money to sample, kept the majority of listeners from experiencing music's rich history.

        Once Napster came about, people suddenly had instantaneous access to almost the entire back catalog of all prerecorded music (or at least all music that was released on CDs). This allowed for a rebirth of older music and genres that hadn't seen as many fans since their industry-granted 15 minutes of fame expired, as well as the diversification and maturing of musical taste in the majority of listeners. Lots of people I know like older music as well as new music, and have a far more diverse set of musical ascetics than any of the generations past. The success of the Guitar Hero franchise is an excellent example of this. Most of the soundtrack is either indie music or music that's at least 20 years old, yet it sells because people have heard a decent amount of the soundtrack before and found that they liked it much better than what plays on today's top 40 radio or what's in the CD racks at Wal-Mart.

        The industry is dying primarily because their business model relied on music being disposable and the audience being fickle and spontaneous. Since P2P emerged, tastes have become more engraved in the general populace, and it's usually difficult to get people to stop liking the really good artists just because something new has come out. Now that they can't get people to throw out their old albums anymore for new ones, the industry has lost its moneymaker. Yes, people are now more used to the idea of music being "free," but the real cause of sales slippage is because the industry has failed to diversify as fast as its populace has. It's still trying to market pop idols as if these were the days of old. Not anymore.
        • by steveo777 (183629)
          I agree completely. Napster exploded right about the time when I hit college (and bandwidth greater than dial-up). I had been so frusterated with music as all I ever heard was top 40 stations. A friend was listening to something I liked and showed me how Napster worked. I started finding artists and, get this, saving up to buy their albums. That's when I started importing music and buying from independent labels.

          Before that, all I had was the used book store that sold bargain CD's. $2-$6 per CD wasn't

    • by mgblst (80109)
      I don't find this too hard to believe. In the old days, if you wanted to listen to a particular song, you could request it on the radio, buy it at the shop, or copy it from a friend. If you were copying it from a friend, then it was reasonable for you to have something to copy, so maybe not everbody had the original, but each person had a few originals, and lots of copies. And of course, people who had no friends had all originals.

      Now, you don't need friends. Music is easily available to download. How can
  • by tomhudson (43916) <barbara.hudson@D ... com minus painte> on Thursday April 03, 2008 @09:49PM (#22959202) Journal

    In the face of widespread, escalating online piracy, music sales dropped to $11.5 billion in 2006 from a peak in 1999 of nearly $15 billion."
    In the face of imploding pop-tarts like Britney Speares, music sales dropped to $11.5 billion in 2006 from a peak in 1999 of nearly $15 billion."

    There, fixed it for you.

    • by Trogre (513942)
      No, no, and a hundred more times NO!

      There was at least as much crap music in the 90s as there is now. And the 80s. And the 70s.

      I have my theories, but I don't really know the reason for declining album sales, save that poor music isn't it. It appears the RIAA doesn't know the reason either.

      • by loganrapp (975327)
        Yes, but the difference is - with the proliferation of the Internet, people began to realize that, hey, this music actually sucks, because look over there! That music is way better.

        In the 90s you were rock, metal, or a pussy. Now? Standards of music amongst the music hounds are way higher. Genres are much more diversified.

        Britney Spears and her ilk are long gone. "Fergie" being the one exception, but note how quickly she transitioned from "musician" to just a brand, lending her name to everything. He

        • by mutube (981006)

          ...and then the one American KT Tunstall (Virgin).
          KT Tunstall [wikipedia.org] is American? You've just earned yourself a beating from some very proud Scots.
        • by Graff (532189)

          Recently it's been British. Well, you've got Lily Allen (Capitol), Kate Nash (Interscope), Amy Winehouse (Republic), and then the one American KT Tunstall (Virgin).

          I'm not sure how KT Tunstall [wikipedia.org] qualifies as being American since she is from Scotland. She did spend a few years of her life going to school in the United States, but I'd hardly say that qualifiers her as "American". Virgin Records [wikipedia.org] is a British company, so I can't see the connection that way either.

          The problem is that for many of these new artists, they're also the predominant songwriters (Allen, Nash and Winehouse, I know, Tunstall I'm unsure)

          As far as I know KT Tunstall writes at least a good portion of her own music. She has a lot of stuff which she wrote way before a major label was interested in her. That might have changed on her most recent

      • by tomhudson (43916)

        Sure there was crap in the 90's, and 80's, and 70's, but, unlike the current pap put out by the music industry, there was a lot more wheat amongst the chaff back then.

        ... and that's ONE reason why the RIAA sales numbers are down overall.

        The other reason? The groups that drove the big numbers are no more. The Beatles are 2 bullets away from their next reunion concert, the Stones are so mainstream its not funny, Elvis is STILL dead, Pink Floyd has become just another brick in the wall, Madonna no longer

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I expect great things in audio streaming from a company that can't get all of the pictures on even the most meager of its pages to load, and has a typical page load time of minutes for what it is able to show. I'm guessing they'll be strong proponent of glitch techno music.
  • by Doomstalk (629173) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @10:07PM (#22959318)
    I don't know about anyone else, but I don't think piracy is to blame. Its the music industry's inexplicable urge to present themselves as greedy, morally bankrupt fat cats who don't care about the artists, or anyone other than themselves really. I just can't bring myself to financially support those assholes, so I don't buy music.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Trogre (513942)
      There is still plenty of music you can buy without supporting those fat cats.

      Of course there's a chance none of it will be your cup of tea.

      Just sayin'

    • by zotz (3951)
      Here let me offer up a lame theory... just for fun...

      The music industry has primarily sold rebellion and sex, drugs, and rock and roll. They have sold defiance of authority.

      So they tried to mold their target audience into rebellious lifestyles.

      Let's just pretend their "plans" worked.

      Oops. Unintended problem.

      "OK, kids, we know we told you not to respect laws, but there is one exception. Copyright laws. You need to respect those. Mmk, thx, now go out and steal something and hock it and come buy some music. it
  • Screw that. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by teamhasnoi (554944) <teamhasnoi&yahoo,com> on Thursday April 03, 2008 @10:11PM (#22959348) Homepage Journal
    In the face of widespread, escalating online piracy, music sales dropped to $11.5 billion in 2006 from a peak in 1999 of nearly $15 billion."


    Cry me a river 'industry'. If there was an objective way to measure the quality of music coming from the big labels, I'm sure it would be would be in the red as well. The only good music I'm hearing is odd little acts going it alone, and mostly by choice.

    The new indie is no record. Just free tracks, and an invitation to come to a show. Sadly, even doing this is a incredible money sink. Driving an hour to shows is ridiculously spendy; my drummer lives over one hundred miles away as well! Since we don't play covers, we draw less than your AC/DC/Zepplin/80's/Classic/Rock band. A crap economy, DVDs, PS3s, and other distractions don't help either.

    I say, ignore this site - why again would I make someone buy a track, or put any obstacle in the way of more people hearing my music? Since it's a label partnership, the 'names' are going to get pushed, and get preferential placement anyway.

    Support your local band [www.theschmoejoes] and buy a t-shirt! It's pretty much the only business model left. :)

    • You must be new to this here intar-web thing here. Your link is broken, and even after I fixed it, I couldn't find no steenkeeng t-shirts. The RIAA's one thing, but you don't have to make it even harder for people to find/support you.
      • I just fired myself. If only there was a group of people that would take care of marketing and promotion for bands, so bands could concentrate on making music, rather than the drudgery of the business side of things. *sigh*

        Here they are! The Schmoejoes Shirts! [theschmoejoes.com] Don't forget to come to small town Minnesota and see us - or use the tubes!

        youtube.com/theschmoejoes [youtube.com]
        myspace.com/theschmoejoes [myspace.com]

        (I obviously need the link-makin' practice)
    • I disagree that indies are not selling albums. Stage-side sales are at least 30% of our touring revenue. The farther you get from home, the more likely folks are to buy your CD, not knowing when you'll be back.

      And free tracks doesn't make much sense either. It's pretty easy to make your music available for net stream and make it tricky to keep the MP3 (note I didn't say make it impossible).

      What we have done is record shows with just a pair of mics and pass CD's around letting everyone know it's ok to

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Omestes (471991)
        And free tracks doesn't make much sense either

        I disagree. I know a couple of emerging (and kick ass) bands in the Phoenix area, and I always tell them to have at least one or two free tracks (as in downloadable) so people can put them on their iPods or such. It keeps things fresh between shows (especially if they tour), and reminds them that the band exists as more than an anomalous myspace friend or such. Say you have 5 recorded tracks, that one you give away isn't going to harm you, but will be a nice
      • I agree on selling recorded music. I'm not a huge fan of most live music performances, because you end up somewhere where a band puts so much electronics between you and them that you may as well just listen to a recording at home and end up with better quality. The big exception is small performances with singers and instruments that don't need amplification to fill the room.

        Much as I would like to employ a few hundred musicians to play music for me all of the time, this isn't really feasible, and so

        • I agree on selling recorded music. I'm not a huge fan of most live music performances, because you end up somewhere where a band puts so much electronics between you and them that you may as well just listen to a recording at home and end up with better quality.

          You need to get out more. There are tons of acts that sound great live, even with full PA systems etc. Venues bigger than a few thousand people suck, because you really don't get much feel for the act, and the act has a harder time playing off the audience, but theaters and small clubs are awesome.

          I know bands that sound live pretty close to how they sound recorded, but with more energy. There are bands that use really different arrangements live and recorderd, or even from live show to live show-- some

    • by mgblst (80109)
      You are just getting older and more discerning, and popular music isn't targetted at you so much. Compared to teenagers, we are such a small section of the market (and no, I don't care if you buy 50 cds a week, you alone do not a market make).

      Do you remember when your parents shouted at you to turn the music down?? That is because when the music was targetted at you, and not at your parents. New popular music is not targetted at you, so just like your parents, you think it is shit. Hate to break it to you,
  • by Nitroadict (1005509) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @10:12PM (#22959354) Homepage

    I think this is too little, too late on the part of MySpace. Their site fell out of fad (in favor for Facebook, but Facebook will eventually be a fad too), and was and still has a terrible site design.

    Last.Fm will be a tough competitor to face off against, especially if the same "brilliant" minds behind the MySpace site layout try to crack Last.Fm's bread & butter.

    • by illectro (697914)
      And last.fm was beaten to the punch by imeem.com [imeem.com], and imeem doesn't have that annoying 3 listen limit that last.fm does.
      • And last.fm was beaten to the punch by imeem.com [imeem.com], and imeem doesn't have that annoying 3 listen limit that last.fm does.

        Dude, that site is repulsive... it's plagued by those annoying scamvertisements disguised as system windows, "You have one message, click the OK button before time runs out!"

        I can't wait for ad-block to be updated to FF3b5 :'(

    • by British (51765)
      Have you tried Last.fm's music player? That was quite possibly the absolute worst application ever devised.

      Myspace has one important asset to this: Eyes. Teen eyes.
    • by leoofborg (803260)
      Funny. Seeing as I just nuked my MyS account, and pretty much have abandoned Facebook due to all the beacon shizzle this is very apropo.

      Pretty much MyS and FB have munged into what I call 'Sleaze API'.. I was getting tired of the constant deluge of 'Status' 'Bulletin' and of course Flash. Honestly I can't tell MyS from FB now.

      Flash. The animated gif / midi sound of this age. If there's one thing that's making MyS and FB clunky, there it is.

      I'm pretty much at the point where I don't want to 'interact' with F
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 03, 2008 @10:15PM (#22959380)
    The statement in the article seeks sympathy for an industry that needs none. Read enough books about the business aspects of record deals and it's clear Major Labels are scumbags.

      When the industry thinks of the billions lost do they even take into account the amount of independent artists that are booming right now? Their website says "RIAA members create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 90% of all legitimate sound recordings produced and sold in the United States" which is pure malarkey. Independents have a bigger slice of the pie and this also doesn't take into account many international artists. These self-produced, sometimes even self distributed, artists gain respect all around because they know some jerk with a ponytail didn't tamper with the creative talent that makes good bands, amazing. This is the age where you can spend a couple thousands of dollars or less, in recording equipment, to produce a semi-professional album. Kids don't need to beg Record companies to back them financially for studio recording sessions, they do it themselves, drop $900 to manufacture 1000 professional CDs, and sell em for $8-$10.

    Maybe the fact that MP3's are cheaper than CD's period? iTunes has destroyed the album, people only spend $3 for 3 songs instead of $13 for the album. Maybe they'd buy the whole album if many mainstreams bands sucked at creating strong albums. No one wants to pay $17 for a brand new CD anymore because the scam has gone on far too long, everyone knows better, produce a bad album iTunes enforces it and makes you pay.

    I'm sure there's a lot of discrepancy in those numbers because of the declining Used CD market as well.

    More money is thrown around nowadays but the music market is complicated compared to yesterday. RIAA is just getting hammered because people are spending their money elsewhere and many artists can survive without standing under the RIAA umbrella.

    INTERESTING FACTS:
    If you are not an artist that pays royalties to the RIAA your money from records sold is not counted in this figure AND if you do not join the RIAA you are incapable of obtaining a Gold or Platinum record, true story.

    -AKA
  • by Jurily (900488) <jurily AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday April 03, 2008 @10:19PM (#22959406)
    ...deserves his MBA revoked. Cut the middlemen. Cut DRM. Team up with a bunch of garage bands, make them famous. They have the popularity to do that, which is precisely what all those unseen talents need...

    3 of the 4 major music labels? Make your own!

    And give us some GOOD music, ferchrissake!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "In the face of widespread, escalating online piracy, music sales dropped to $11.5 billion in 2006 from a peak in 1999 of nearly $15 billion."

    Misleading at best. Why are we supposed to automatically assume that piracy is the sole cause of the flatlining record industry profits? Digital distribution methods have increased exponentially, and they offer music at a far greater convenience and far cheaper price than physical media. Perhaps the mass exodus to cheaper digital downloads -- rather than ponying up
  • EULA? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    "It's the first service that offers a full catalog of music to be streamed for free, with full community features, to be shared with all of your friends."

    No offense but the Music industry has been so far behind the eight ball this is a load of bs.

    www.soundclick.com already did it.

    What concerns me the most is this:
    ""They have a huge community that wants to talk, share and learn about music."

    They want to tap into all the other artists on myspace music. Effectively tapping the same market as soundclick and ot
    • by illectro (697914)
      Yeah I think myspace is fixated on major label music, but even then it puts them in third place behind imeem and last.fm.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Music sales administered by the litigious middlemen and self proclaimed gatekeepers of music dropped to $11.5 billion.

    If you include sales from independent entities distributing by themselves for themselves (i.e. ignore the vacuous wailing of sidestepped middlemen) overall music sales where actually up 14%
  • by hyades1 (1149581) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Thursday April 03, 2008 @10:43PM (#22959572)

    I'd love to know how much of the drop in sales is due to "escalating on-line piracy", and how much is due to the fact that people no longer have to accept a bunch of crap being shoved down their throats so they can get the one or two songs on a CD that are worth listening to. If I like even three songs, it's a pretty safe bet that I'll be forking out the cash. One or two songs? Not so much.

    Wouldn't it be interesting to have every song on a particular CD available on a site like this, then track how much money each had made after a year, or how many times it had been downloaded. There'd certainly be some tunes that caught on slowly and eventually overtook the initial hit tune. "Ball and a Biscuit" off the same White Stripes CD as "Seven Nation Army" would be an example in my particular case. But those are the exception. Finally, we'd finally get a chance to see objective proof of just how much filler there is on your basic $20 CD.

  • RIAASpace
    • Nah, it would be a little more subtle...

      RySpace... and they would say it stands for "Record Your Space" or something...
  • by illectro (697914) on Thursday April 03, 2008 @11:04PM (#22959710)
    So, until myspace music launches the biggest web2.0 music site will be imeem.com [imeem.com] and you only have to look at their site to get a feeling of deja vu. imeem has been operating a 'youtube for music' for a few years now, needless to say this was very popular and last year they were sued by a record label and everyone was sad and predicted the end for imeem. But them imeem came out of the legal proceedings with a deal that let them stream music on their site in exchange for revenue sharing with the label.

    So now you have imeem as this monster service where you can essentially listen to any tune ever recorded, and it's all paid for by advertising.

    Similarly, myspace has been in litigation with the record labels and has taken a page from the imeem playbook, copying the deal making, the business model and everything else. Only this isn't some tiny startup, this is Fox Interactive with it's massive pockets.

    I really hope myspace loses this time.

    • by Skreems (598317)

      So now you have imeem as this monster service where you can essentially listen to any tune ever recorded

      I tried it out on your recommendation, and I'm not impressed. I've been meaning to buy Nick Cave's album "Henry's Dream", so I searched for tracks. Only 3, and none of them the well known songs of the album.
  • than mypsace. That place is an abortion of epic proportions. The only times I even go there is to check out some band that has sample tunes up on the site. Even that's hit and miss with their crappy and inconsistent streaming and useless player.
  • ... I'm fairly certain MySpace's targeted age group (teenagers and adolescents) already know about Lemonwire and are learning fairly quickly about toUrrent.

    (Note: Names of certain programs have been changed in order to protect their identities.)

    On a latter note, will downloading music require age verification, or will it just bee censored like the CDs at Walmart are?
  • Maybe we don't want to be consumers. Maybe we want to upload our own tracks and not deal with Myspaces "music" site. Maybe Myspace should just let users sell their own tracks and stop kissing the music cartels asses.
    • Actually, I gotta give kudos to MySpace. The big labels have billions invested in their talent, and they needed the means to integrate into the internet better. MySpace is cashing in on that. They'll be the only ones left smiling in the end, but it's still a good move for them.
  • I think it's a good idea.

    But they should ALSO make CD's and DVD's on the shelves lower priced.

    Remember the Bush administration and the economy thieves have made the dollar worth 70 cents. It's probably less after we figure out what is going on with the corrupt federal reserve and how much they have been printing. Sort of an invisible divide by two on your retirement accounts.

    They should also build more venues. If outdoors then lot's of shade. The last warped tour was too fucking hot, to the point of heatstr
  • This is hardly progress. This is just another attempt to keep alive one of the most archaic and outdated marketing models still in widespread use. They say "before anyone did anything, Elvis Presley did everything" but in reality his unprecidented success screwed everything. Music marketeers have been blindly flogging the same horse ever since, despite the endless painfully obvious indicators that a paradigm shift is imperative to their survival.

    The fundamental flaw in the Elvis marketing model is that

  • Have you no faith? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    With the site design prowess of MySpace and the customer care and business ethics of the RIAA, how can they fail?
  • "In the face of widespread, escalating online piracy,..."

    Why is the same hokum being gussied up and trotted out yet [jhunewsletter.com] again [cnet.com] to cover up the fact that the major labels all, each and every swingin' dick one of them, missed the boat on the internet business model and now are scrambling to save their wrinkled white asses from a just deserved demise?
  • MyTunes vs. iTunes - who will emerge victorious? Just as long as my downloads stay cheap and it plays nice with my music player of choice, i don't really care.

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.

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