Wednesday, February 20, 2008

MySpace plans step-up in music services

There's nothing exactly new about MySpace planning a service which allows free streaming of music - or, indeed, downloads of tracks. It's arguable that the streaming of music, while not the foundation of the service's success,is the reason for it managing to maintain much of its position.

However, Rupert Murdoch's home on the internet is currently in talks to upgrade its offering. The FT reports prep work on an ad-supported free streaming service filled from the major label's catalogues, complete with a download store for people hungry for takeaways.

The moves are slightly - though not entirely - foxed by Universal's current lawsuit against MySpace (blah blah stealing our music blah blah getting fat off our investment blah blah give us some money). The possibility of a service a bit like SpiralFrog, but which has a userbase and might, therefore, work, is probably going to be too tempting for the labels to walk away from.

If MySpace does carve out a niche as a major music retailer, it'll be interesting to see what this means for Rupert's newspapers and how they report the doings of the artists whose work their boss is trying to flog.