MySpace Music: What the experts think.

April 3, 2008

myspace_music-primary_logo-black.jpg Was it any coincidence that Apple decided to trumpet its victory as the biggest U.S. retailer of music on the same day the world’s biggest social network declared its intentions to provide an alternative?

Who knows? What’s certain is Apple now faces another in a growing legion of competitors aiming to chip away at its dominance.

Here’s what the experts think:

James McQuivey, analyst at Forrester Research:
“A MySpace music store is exactly the right step to get the music industry to the next level because it recognizes that consumers don’t just buy music, they experience it, which is a much larger concept — they share, they discover, they heckle, they even use it to provide self-identify. That’s what people do with music already on MySpace, it’s what has made Last.FM and so popular so quickly. But none of those experiences take it to the next level, allowing consumer to integrate buying music and related things. ”

Ben Drury CEO of 7Digital, a UK-based digital music service:
“Initially, this looks like a positive move for consumers. DRM is still a big issue for a lot of music fans and this latest announcement is further evidence that the majors are moving away from it all together. Competition to iTunes’ domination of the market is always good news, as it helps drive competitive pricing in the digital music sector. However, the quality of the user experience may still be an issue. MySpace pages are chaotic due to the levels of customisation and could easily put consumers off the service. It will also be interesting to see how many consumers, or parents of young consumers, will be willing to hand their credit card details over to MySpace when buying music.”

Paul Myers Chief Executive Wippit (digital music service):
“I think the effect that MySpace has had on music has been hyped out of control. Half truths or misunderstandings like those that the Arctic Monkeys or Lily Allen were broke on MySpace have become accepted as fact in some circles. And it’s a problem that might hurt it in the long run as the majority of friend requests most people get on MySpace these days are from aspiring musicians plugging their wares and not old friends or new acquaintances. If it carries on MySpace will become a service of aspiring musicians, spamming aspiring musicians, spamming aspiring musicians.”

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