Blog Post

MySpace Music Launching Tonight: 9 PM PT/12:00 AM ET

Update: As of about midnight on the west coast, the site is live. We’ll have reactions and a full review later this morning, after we’ve taken a closer look.

Original Post: MySpace’s long-awaited music store is going live tonight at 9:00 PM PT/12:00 AM ET. EMI, the last major holdout among the major labels is now on board, as is major indie The Orchard (NSDQ: ORCD). Because EMI signed on at the last second, the label’s entire catalog will not be available tonight, says SAI’s Peter Kafka. MySpace Music, owned by News Corp. (NYSE: NWS), calls tonight’s launch “the first phase in an iterative global product rollout”. Added: A MySpace spokesperson explained that the “global” part will take some time. Right now it’s only in the US in English and in Spanish, and it will be rolled out to international territories in the “coming months”. This first phase will include:

— Free and unlimited ad-supported, full-length audio streaming,
— Free and unlimited playlist functionality,
— DRM-free MP3 music e-commerce downloads powered by Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) MP3,
— Ringtone e-commerce powered by Jamster

So, how will this all work out? It’s hard to say anything until we’ve had a chance to take it for a spin, load up some songs and see how well the site works (First we’ll have to locate our old MySpace password…). And though we know that MySpace users already use the site to listen to and discover music, it remains an open question if that will actually translate to buying or even streaming music. Screenshots and full release after the jump




LOS ANGELES-September 25, 2008-MySpace, the world’s premier social network, alongside its landmark joint venture partners which include EMI Music, SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group (NYSE: WMG), Sony/ ATV Music Publishing and The Orchard today unveiled the new ‘MySpace Music’ product ( injecting the world’s richest online music community with a host of new features for both users and artists. The new suite of products, which includes an ever-growing catalog of premium audio and video content, e-commerce offerings, and user and artist playlists, aims to further enhance the MySpace Music experience as well as provide monetization opportunities for its active music community.

Today’s announcement marks the first phase in an iterative global product rollout which will ultimately include a vast catalogue of premium and promotional content, a wide selection of new user-to-user sharing tools, and additional e-commerce opportunities for artists including merchandise and ticketing. Starting today in the U.S. and launching internationally in the coming months, the new MySpace Music functionality will also be available in Spanish and fully localized for the MySpace en EspaƱol community. Select products including the newly designed music player will be available globally to MySpace’s more than 120 million global users (comScore (NSDQ: SCOR) July 2008).

The first phase of the new MySpace Music unveils:

* The new, ‘MyMusic,’ personal music management toolset
* Free and unlimited ad-supported, full-length audio streaming
* Free and unlimited playlist functionality
* Free discography and content catalogues for SONY BMG, UMG and WMG artists
* DRM-free MP3 music e-commerce downloads powered by Amazon MP3
* Ringtone e-commerce powered by Jamster

The ‘MyMusic’ toolset empowers the MySpace Music community in the U.S. to download, stream, and personalize their music content. The new product allows MySpace users to create playlists for both personal and public consumption and profile display, allowing profile visitors to stream all playlisted content on-demand and purchase MP3s of their favorite songs. Users can virally add a friend’s playlist to their own profile or take songs from a friend’s profile to their own.

In addition to managing and discovering new music, users will now be able to utilize MySpace Music’s enhanced search capability to browse and search for music by artist, song title, or album title. Users can freely stream their preferred content through a personal music player for a seamless listening experience while browsing MySpace or the other websites.

Beginning today, U.S. users can purchase DRM-free MP3 music downloads through MySpace Music’s new e-commerce solution powered by Amazon MP3. Now, adjacent to licensed songs within artist profile media players, user-created playlists, and certain music editorial pages, MySpace Music will feature buy buttons that will allow users to download and purchase MP3s playable on all digital music devices, including the iPod. Similarly, users can click on a “Find Ringtones” button-powered by Jamster-within music players to purchase ringtones of their
favorite artists.

The first four integrated sponsors to advertise on MySpace Music are McDonald’s, Sony (NYSE: SNE) Pictures, State Farm, and Toyota. These brands will be powering customers’ access to a host of new music services. McDonald’s will have presence on MySpace Music’s personal music player giving away a variety of free music downloads. To promote the opening
of Sony Pictures’ comedy “Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist,” the movie studio will be skinning all MySpace Music users’ profile playlists for an entire week with branding from the film. State Farm will have rotating ads among all pages including the Featured Playlist, the Personal Music Player, and MyMusic where members go to create and edit playlists. With “Toyota Tuesdays,” the auto company will offer free music downloads and have a strong presence on MySpace Music’s Personal Music Player every Tuesday for a year.

MySpace Music hosts more than 5 million major, indie, and unsigned artists within the site’s music profiles section, which provides for a vast artist-powered collection of songs, music videos, tour dates, blogs, and photos. MySpace’s deep, long-standing ties to the music community have allowed for numerous exclusive features from the most groundbreaking musicians in the world and the its new marketing initiatives will greatly enhance the existing MySpace Music offline concert franchises including Secret Shows, MySpaceLIVE!, Transmissions, Front to Back and The List.

MySpace Music executive quote sheet, screen shots, logos, b-roll, and fact sheets are available upon request at press AT

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