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..