Details are emerging on the relaunch of MP3.com by CBS, announced by Dan Mason at RAIN Summit West in April. While Mason projected that the relaunch would come in May, CBS Interactive Music Group president David Goodman spoke with Music Week recently and revealed that MP3.com was now set for a re-launch towards the end of June.
The focus of the site will be on new and unsigned musicians, and there will be some one million tracks available initially. The service will be highly integrated with Last.fm, CBS Interactive Music Group’s other strictly online music play. Downloads will be freely available and legal, according to Goodman.
MP3.com was a free music download site that got into legal trouble with the record labels over licensing. Its history includes a huge IPO and eventual sale to record label Vivendi Universal, where it eventually died. CNET picked up the url, but it’s been inactive for several years. It was founded by Michael Robertson, a serial entrepreneur who’s not afraid of a lawsuit.
The service will enable artists to upload their music while relieving the site of any royalty obligations. The premise, no doubt, will rely on the idea that if artists see a promotional benefit from gaining listeners via the site, they will be willing to waive royalties to gain listeners.
CBS Music Interactive, under the leadership of David Goodman, has developed a good looking corral of digital music offerings that include Last.fm, radio.com, the portal where streams of all CBSRadio stations can be launched, and now the revived MP3.com. Goodman’s belief is that listeners will listen to more than one service. “Most things tend to coexist,” he argued. “Last.fm has grown as iTunes has grown. There is more interest in music than ever before and people use a variety of services.”
One thing is for sure, when the river is rising, all the boats rise as well. Right now, online listening is growing, and adding a new digital music service is a great idea. May they thrive..
More than one of every three Internet users will listen to Internet radio weekly this year, reports EMarketer. That 37.5% of 12+ Internet users in the US means more than 79 million listeners to online radio. That number will continue to grow and hit 157 million and 67% of that population by 2015.
EMarketer also projects that online stations are billing $800 million this year and will grow that number to $1.6 billion by 2015.
Hmmm. While I am liking the sound of these numbers, particularly the revenue, the write up that I read online isn’t sounding so smart to me, as it appears to compare broadcast revenues to online radio revenues in one breath, but then throws the term “pure plays” in. Revenues derived from pure plays would include online stations only and not include broadcasters’ streams. I ‘think’ it’s a mistake, and the $1.6 billion is meant to project revenues for all of Internet radio, not just for pure plays…