MySpace plans ‘alternative’ to Apple’s iTunes Music Store

“MySpace, the wildly popular online teen hangout, said on Friday it will make its first move into the digital music business by selling songs from nearly 3 million unsigned bands,” Reuters reports.

Reuters reports, “MySpace is the latest company to try to take on Apple Computer Inc.’s iTunes Music Store, but unlike many other start-up rivals, it already boasts 106 million users, as well as the backing of parent company News Corp. ‘The goal is to be one of the biggest digital music stores out there,’ MySpace co-founder Chris DeWolfe told Reuters. ‘Everyone we’ve spoken to definitely wants an alternative to iTunes and the iPod. MySpace could be that alternative.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Oh, really now, Mr. DeWolfe, “everyone?” Give us a break. Note: MySpace songs (MP3 format without Digital Rights Management) will play on iPods, too.

Reuters continues, “Before the end of 2006, De Wolfe said MySpace will offer independent bands that have not signed with a record label a chance to sell their music on the site. MySpace says it has nearly 3 million bands showcasing their music.”

MacDailyNews Take: While we’re sure there is some small percentage of great bands that are unsigned at any given time, we fail to see why MySpace’s offer to showcase music that nobody really wants to hear is a threat to Apple’s iTunes Music Store.

Reuters continues, “DeWolfe said MySpace would be “enhancing and customizing” its online music store as the service evolves, aiming to eventually offer copyright-protected songs from major record companies… Digital music is the fastest-growing sector of the record industry but the market is dominated by iTunes, which has more than 70 percent of U.S. sales, according to NPD Research. iTunes is only fully compatible with the iPod.”

Full article here.

Catherine Holahan reports for BusinessWeek, “Don’t expect the new services to threaten iTunes anytime soon, says Wendy Abramowitz, an analyst at Argus Research. She didn’t change her positive outlook on Apple when she heard of the new competitors. ‘We have seen other companies entering the music download space and to date there has been no substantial impact on Apple’s prospects, so I would expect it to be similar this time around,’ she says.”

“A big reason for bullishness on Apple’s prospects: the iPod. Apple not only dominates legal music downloads, but also the handheld devices on which they’re played. The company has sold more than 50 million iPods around the world and except in the case of MySpace, songs downloaded through non-iTunes players won’t work on the iPod. Until a new player compatible with these services gains popularity, it is unlikely that massive numbers will switch their music buying habits, says Mark Mulligan, vice-president of Jupiter Research,” Holahan reports.

Full article here.

18 Comments

  1. If you want the opportunity to hear good, unsigned bands (opportunity because many are not good) for free, just check out GarageBand.com. It’s a great site for unsigned musicians to post their music, get feedback, and even win awards. Many artists make their music available for free downloads too. It was an invaluable resource for me when I was a professional musician.

  2. If it looks anything like a typical myspace page, it will be a nightmare to navigate.

    I agree, competition is good… but I have no patience to wade through a crappy looking myspace page, listening to crap after crap after crap to find those few unsigned bands that are superb…

    iTunes offers unsigned bands too… My friend’s album is on there…

  3. This could actually and probably will just create even more sales for Apple. Teens at MySpace will need a player (an iPod of course) for all their new MySpace tunes. And once they have that player, they’ll have to check out the iTunes Music Store at some point– especially when they want music from “signed” bands, which of course they will.

    P.S. TuneFlow.com is another site offering lots of indie music, free (and no DRM) MP3s, and valuable resources for artists. They also have a monthly song tournament which is cool.

  4. You know of
    Faux Newz (Fake & highly biased–definitely unbalanced)
    Faux Sportz (Worst coverage on the planet- gaudy overcharged graphics and swooshes everywhere)
    Faux Entertainment (Recycled soaps and talent shows)
    All brought to you by that Faux American Rupert Murdoch

    Now we get Faux Muzic via MySpace

    Nothin like a wannabe…

  5. This is all good for Apple.
    Apple doesn’t really care how or where you get your mp3’s from, as long as you listen to them on a iPod.
    (iTunes is not a big income generator)

    The numbers are way over the top at Myspace.
    Apple would be smart to license it’s DRM to Myspace.

    Myspace currently provides excellent marketing capabilities to unsigned artists. The ability to have your music heard by tens of thousands of teens and build a large fan base, all from the comfort of your home is unprecedented. (no need for a smelly tour van)

    This is a smart move for Myspace and will do nothing but sell more iPods.

  6. “…we fail to see why MySpace’s offer to showcase music that nobody really wants to hear is a threat to Apple’s iTunes Music Store.”

    That is an incredibly ignorant statement. So just because a band isn’t signed to a major label, than it must suck? That’s bulls**t.

    Just because something isn’t develped by Apple, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad. This sounds like it could be a great opportunity for unsigned artists.

  7. chad h, get real
    your the ignorant one, the statement about unsigned bands is statistically speaking. Usually, good bands get popular and eventually get signed, alot of unsigned bands simply don’t deserve to be signed. Thats the rule, and being an exception, makes you ‘an exception’ not a ‘rule’ try Logic 101. You are free to listen to all 3 million songs on MySpaceBalls until your ears bleed looking for new talent, when the bandages come off, tell the rest of us if it was worth ur time.

  8. I pity all of you who are so defensive of anything non-Apple that you can’t see something good.

    Myspace helps (true) indie labels promote, while Apple, as much as I love it, does not. So, if you are a musician with many ideas but little startup, Myspace towers iTunes store. If you are a listener who likes to stray away from the categorized “norm”, Myspace is also a great place.

    Stop your complaining and ‘speculation’ you sheep…think for yourselves.

  9. Are these companies stupid or what? They keep coming out with these music services that cannot be used on an iPod, so there is 75% of the market out there that will not buy songs from them!

    Do they expect everyone to drop their iPods for some other piece of crap just so they can download their music offerings. I don’t think so. All they are doing is fighting for crumbs amongst the also rans!

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