Who says you can't make money in the music industry. MySpace Music is signing on big name sponsors including Toyota,McDonald's,State Farm, and Sony Pictures.
The site will stream tracks on demand, for free. That means that advertisers are particularly important to this venture's success, and they're getting exposure, front and center.
Toyota's brand will have a presence around the homepage, and will sponsor "Toyota Tuesdays," a year-long free download giveaway program. McDonald's will put its brand on the media player, and will sponsor download giveaways.
MySpace, which gets about 30 million unique monthly users, has long featured bands and music fan sites, so this is a fairly natural extension. The company is counting on it to be a natural, spending $50 million plus on the launch of the site, which will eventually be fully integrated into the MySpace social network.
And it won't just be reliant on ad revenue; it'll also sell music subscriptions, ring tones, merchandise and concert tickets. Now it'll be a while before it has all the legal issues with the music labels. But working in the new site's favor is that it's a joint venture between Sony Music, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group, which are of course making their catalogs available.
So what does this mean for the competitive landscape? Well Facebook seems to be ready to fight back. Social music service iLike--one of Facebook's most popular--announced that the upcoming album from "Thievery Corporation" will make its exclusive debut this Thursday on its site.
ILike is an independently-run application, but Facebook is now officially promoting iLike as a "Great App" and sponsoring an online "listening party." Is Facebook going to leverage iLike's existing music-loving fan base to compete with mySpace Music? We'll see!
- Wall Street Journal launches social network
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