Online community MySpace is planning to allow its independent artists to sell songs online via the music service currently offered by the platform. The download service will capitalise on its hundred million users worldwide and is the latest attempt to dethrone current download king iTunes.
Last Friday, MySpace the online community owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch announced plans to introduce a download service that will allow its estimated three million independent artists to sell their songs online using the existing music service offered on artists' MySpace pages. Artists will be able to choose how much to charge for their music with MySpace taking a "small distribution fee".
Songs will initially be sold as MP3s without Digital Rights Management (DRM) meaning they will be compatible with Apple's iPod. However if MySpace wants to compete with iTunes by selling signed artists' music, it will need to offer DRM protected files. Although MySpace hasn't struck any deals with any major record labels just yet, it could be on the horizon in the future.
MySpace co-founder Chris DeWolfe told Reuters: "The goal is to be one of the biggest digital music stores out there. Everyone we've spoken to definitely wants an alternative to iTunes and the iPod. MySpace could be that alternative."
MySpace has rapidly become one of the most used online promotion tools in the music community. In dance music circles, labels, DJs and producers use the online social sphere to promote mixes, forthcoming releases and upcoming club dates. Even, ahem, RA has its own MySpace page.
MySpace is the latest to take on download kingpin iTunes who reportedly have 70% of the overall download music market and 30% of the dance market. Last week the biggest music label in the biz Universal also announced it would make its entire music catalogue available online for free.