For the life of me I can’t figure out how MySpace’s big music announcement with Universal Music Group, Warner Music and Sony BMG is going to play out. The geezer planner in me says it is headed for disaster, because MySpace is about friends, not selling music. And whenever a property thinks they know more than their customers about being a consumer, they fall into traps. If given a choice to buy Music from Apple, maker of the iPod, or MySpace maker of “thanks for the add,” I’d choose Apple. But look how Wal-Mart ascended in music downloads.
The strategy of selling music in all device formats is smart, though it hasn’t driven crazy growth at Amazon. The strategy of 360 degree deals, selling all band purchase-ables: tees, tix, loads, pix, vids, is also smart. And convenient. And after “friends,” music is a big driver of traffic to MySpace, and therefore consumers have in a sense already voted for music as a MySpace app. Hmm.
But bringing in three labels, notorious competitors, and then stirring up the bees nest of small indies (a franchise) vs. the big labels and that will create cause some anomy. More hmm.
Though I’m kind of on the fence here, I’m going to say, it will be a small bust. News Corp. will putz this thing up because there will be too many cooks in the kitchen. Plus the MySpace overall mission is now off-kilter. When was the last time you thought of your favorite music store as “a place for friends.”