MySpace Music

The about to launch MySpace Music will offer ad-sponsored unlimited live streaming of content. Sounds like Internet radio! With record companies Sony BMG, Universal and Warner as so-called partners…

MySpace Music has announced Ad deals with several major advertisers and according to some reports (CNET, here) Jeff Berman, MySpace’s president of sales of marketing, said that “the premium advertisers paid big money, some even plunked down eight-figure sums.” He said “advertising on MySpace Music will go deeper and be much more creative than just posting some banner ads.”According to Adweek, “McDonald’s will sponsor free music downloads and have a presence among the customized tools on the MySpace Personal Music Player. State Farm’s brand will be visible throughout the site, gracing the music player and various playlists. The insurer will probably integrate its MySpace Music affiliation with its own content offering, NowWhat.com…. Toyota plans to sponsor “Toyota Tuesdays,” supporting free music downloads and rotating its ads on the music player for the next year.”

How will this impact Internet radio? One positive is that this launch will include advertising from the beginning, thus contributing to building a business model for Internet radio. I tend to think that stations that amass audience without running ads are creating an unfair playing field for the rest. I’m also an advocate of audio ads as a more effective use of the medium, and it’s unclear whether MySpace Music will run audio ads. This is something to keep an eye on since recently SoundExchange head Jon Simson said Pandora could only survive if they started running audio ads between songs. (Wired, here) So will the record companies new joint venture with MySpace follow their own advice?

In general I think the fact that a huge site like MySpace, with 120 million users, is going to offer music streams with an ad supported model is good for Internet radio. More listeners, more ads. The fact that they have already gone out and gotten some high profile advertisers is a good thing. It will be interesting to watch where they go from here.

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