March 09, 2008 |
MySpace has been rumored to be trying to break into music distribution for some time now, but seems to have accelerated negotiations with the four major labels recently. They could run into a major snag from Universal's court, however. There is a pending lawsuit still on the books that MySpace has yet to resolve with the music label in which Universal accuses MySpace of copyright violations.
In order for MySpace to join the ranks of music distributors like iTunes, eMusic and, more recently, FaceBook, they need the official go ahead from the labels. No one from the major labels or MySpace has confirmed this latest round of music distribution rumors yet. If the news is true, we could see MySpace music distribution by the end of March 2008.
Should established online music sites like eMusic, iTunes, Amazon Unboxed and others be afraid of MySpace or FaceBook entering the music distribution business? I say no. MySpace especially suffers from a clunky, crowded, unattractive, difficult to handle interface. Frankly, in order to compete with established music distribution sites it will have to look better and work better, and I don't see MySpace making that happen.
MySpace has enough problems with its site's other features. Its video service has lag time and quality issues, its current offering of music profile pages for musicians is impossible to find anything on, and in general the site tends to freeze. Unless MySpace fixes its server load issues, navigation problems, improves its search and more, I don't see it as being ready to host a music distribution site. Of course, the current user base seems to return to Myspace again and again in spite of these issues, so perhaps they will embrace the music distribution when it arrives in all its faulty glory – after all if you have come to expect nothing to work, then problems won't faze you.