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Myspace to Sell MP3s From Unsigned Bands 253

Posted by Zonk
from the i-want-to-rock-and-roll-all-night dept.
soldrinero writes "Yahoo! news is hosting a story about a new competitor to Apple's iTunes Music Store. Nearly all the other iTunes competitors have been strongly controlled by the music industry, shackled in DRM, and giving little back to artists. The new MySpace music store will feature vanilla MP3 downloads at prices set by the individual bands (3 million of them!), all or nearly all of whom are unsigned musicians with no industry affiliation. Is this the example we have all been waiting for of how the Internet will obviate the business model of the recording industry?"
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Myspace to Sell MP3s From Unsigned Bands

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  • No, because ... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SpooForBrains (771537)
    ... people won't buy! Unsigned bands have enough trouble getting their music heard when they're GIVING it away!
    • Re:No, because ... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Capt'n Hector (650760) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @06:29AM (#16029169)
      No. MySpace is the most popular site on the internet among the band-listening, teenage generation. Mind you, most of these bands should already be on iTunes via CDBaby... but still. If they don't fumble this, MySpace could easily put a very large dent in iTunes and the major labels, which is a good thing.
      • Re:No, because ... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by tehwebguy (860335) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @07:17AM (#16029263) Homepage
        indeed. this is a pretty good move by myspace, they aren't stupid enough to think that their user base would buy a song that won't work on their ipod. the fact that they can say things like "DRM FREE" helps out too.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Millenniumman (924859)
          No one, and by that I mean no significant part of the consumers they are targeting, knows what DRM is. They could tout increased compatibility, though.
          • you are deluded.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by tehwebguy (860335)
              indeed

              the general public might not really know what drm actually is or what it stands for (they don't know what mp3 is either) but more and more people are learning that it is something they don't want.

              the sony drm thing left the IT department and went out into the streets, it was regular ass people fearing that they had installed something horrible.

              and for those who DON'T know they don't want drm just yet, when myspace says that their downloads are drm free, they will learn.
            • No, I'm not. Most people have no idea what DRM is. They have no idea it is on ITMS music, DVDs, etc.

              You must remember that most people don't know what internet explorer is. They have their blue "e", or "the internet", but internet explorer?

              They don't know what mp3 is, at all. To them, it is music not on a CD.
              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by Firehed (942385)
                Nah, most know what an MP3 is. At least in concept at the most basic level. What they don't know is the difference between an MP3, WMA, M4A or M4P file. You're very right in saying that they don't know what DRM is, in the sense of calling it DRM anyways. Anyone who's actually encountered it (which you won't if it's working correctly) knows about it, though most don't know what it's called. I'd question the ability of MySpace to educate anyone, but I think it could help, especially if they take a slight
          • by jZnat (793348) *
            They know it doesn't work on their iPod, and that's good enough for them. I think it's good that Apple hasn't licensed their DRM to anyone as that would spread the "DRM is acceptable" mentality, and we surely don't want that.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by fireweaver (182346)
        And when this service makes a dent in RIAA-controlled sales, how long will it be before the RIAA runs whining and crying to CONgress "They're taking away our PROFITS!!!" -- with the express idea of course of getting Congress to legitimise them as the only legal purveyor of music?
        • Not going to happen. Congress may be stupid and greedy, but they are not stupid about greed. If the RIAA says 'They're taking away our PROFITS!!oneoneone' then congress hears 'I might not be able to afford your bribe next year,' and they start to look for someone else to pick up the slack. Someone, perhaps, who owns a large media empire and can sway popular opinion in an election year. Someone who recently bought MySpace, for instance...
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by RexRhino (769423)
          When the RIAA runs to congress to legislate against MySpace, is will have almost total popular support from Americans. Here is how the RIAA will do it:

          1. They will say that because MySpace accepts any artist and music without a real screening process, it is promoting sexualy explicit and violent messages in music, and that we have to do something about it. (This will get the support of the religious right and fearful parents).

          2. They will say that because MySpace accepts any artist and music without any rea
      • Re:No, because ... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 02, 2006 @07:51AM (#16029326)
        Mind you, most of these bands should already be on iTunes via CDBaby

        ROFLMAO! You obviously don't waork in the industry. I work for an indie music distro and do A/R for a couple of labels. I can't even describe how _terrible_ most bands are. MySpace is like a meeting place for all the bands that send their demos to every label on Earth and just can't figure out why no one will sign them (because they are absolutely awful). These bands aren't on iTMS because most labels don't care about bands that would sell maybe one download per year.
        • Re:No, because ... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by DreadfulGrape (398188) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @09:08AM (#16029468)
          <sarcasm>

          And of course the established music industry only signs really, really good bands to contracts.

          </sarcasm>
          • by jZnat (793348) *
            Aye, the problem with being a music publisher or recording studio. I was thinking of starting my own indie label, but first I would need to find some good bands around here. ;p
          • Re:No, because ... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @11:03AM (#16029790)
            "And of course the established music industry only signs really, really good bands to contracts."

            Sarcasm noted. However, I think you should watch the American Idol auditions to get an idea of what he's referring to. If MySpace's music gig turns into a big joke because it's bombarded by crap (as it already has a reputation for in other areas...), what does the RIAA really have to worry about?
      • Re:No, because ... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by bsharitt (580506) <brandon@@@sharitt...com> on Saturday September 02, 2006 @08:14AM (#16029361) Homepage Journal
        Exactly. DRM free music stores that sell unsigned artists aren't new, but they didn't have any mainstream reach. MySpace is probably the first that is big enough to actually make a dent.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by fatphil (181876)
          Was MP3.com really that small? I know I bought loads of stuff from it before it got borgified.

          FatPhil
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by canuck57 (662392)

      ... people won't buy! Unsigned bands have enough trouble getting their music heard when they're GIVING it away!

      While this might be true in the short term, think about how many are actually good at it that the music industry ignores? This will catch up with the music industry who often with money propel people to the top of charts that couldn't sing without electronic assistance if they tried.

      Similarily, TV. A group of people could create a series of SciFi, comedy even sitcomms without a billion dollar

      • by dark-br (473115)
        The entertainment industry fears this like the devil.

        Why would they fear looking into the mirror anyways...

      • by tehwebguy (860335)
        it's true, right now the only thing record labels really have to offer is money and distribution.

        anyone can get enough money to record and tour, you just have to be determined enough. distribution is the hard part, but if a band builds a fanbase up from nothing like this, they will have the negotiation power to sign a decent contract and get some cds in stores.
      • The entertainment industry fears this like the devil.

        Why? It will turn out to be a good deal for them - someone else does all the upfront leg work and spending to put out a product - if they develop a hit, the big media companies can come in and sign them. It removes a level of risk from their business - as long as they have a lock on the major distribution channels they control the serious money. Indie films and music have been around for a long time - and media companies do a good job of co-opting the
        • Re:No, because ... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by schon (31600) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @08:30AM (#16029396)
          Why?

          Because it threatens their business model, and they are scared shitless of change.

          It will turn out to be a good deal for them

          That's irrelevant. Radio was a good deal for them, and they fought tooth and nail because it threatened their business model. VCRs were a great deal for the movie industry, and look how hard they fought that.

          It removes a level of risk from their business - as long as they have a lock on the major distribution channels they control the serious money.

          First of all, they don't want control of the "serious" money, they want control of *all* of the money.

          Second, your condition ("as long as they have a lock") is not at all assured. What happens when major artists discover they no longer *need* the "major" distribution channels?

          Third, record labels make millions of dollars from artists just starting out that are willing to sign contracts for what can only be charitably described as indentured servitude. When these artists see "hey, I'm paying for this myself anyway, why don't I keep all the money", the big record labels lose a major source of revenue. Steve Albini wrote an excellent essay entitled "The Problem with Music" - it's a must read if you want to know how the music industry works - which you need to if you want to understand their motivations and why they're so scared of the internet.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kripkenstein (913150)
      ... people won't buy! Unsigned bands have enough trouble getting their music heard when they're GIVING it away!

      Never underestimate the power of teen fanboy(|girl)ism.

      Personally I think this idea might work out well for Myspace. Certainly they have little or no risk / cost. And since it's non-DRM'ed mp3's, I really have no objection to it.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Fanther (949376)
      Of course not everyone will sell, but imagine a small fraction that eventually will. That could be hundreds.

      Multi Search [friskr.com]
    • I disagree (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Dark Paladin (116525)
      Through listening to various podcasts, such as "Insomnia Radio" and NPR's music show and some others, I've actually increased my music purchasing of these indie bands - especially when they were on the iTunes store.

      Most of the bands that I hear through indie Podcasts have Myspace pages, and that would make it a *lot* easier to pick up their songs as MP3's - especially if they were decent quality (like 192 or above).

      So I'd say that while the amount of music won't be as high as, say, Britney, for some bands i
    • Re:No, because ... (Score:4, Informative)

      by lixee (863589) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @07:02AM (#16029245)
      Heard of the Arctic Monkeys? The first album from that indie band has become the fastest-selling debut album in UK chart history.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by soliptic (665417)
        Yeah but the part myspace played in that success is 90% myth. The band hadn't even heard of the site until after they were signed and successful.

        http://technology.guardian.co.uk/weekly/story/0,, 1 781879,00.html [guardian.co.uk]

        What actually happened is they gave their music away on good old fashioned CDs at their gigs. So yet again, the #1 way of independent bands getting successful turns out to be "doing gigs". Plus ca change ;-)
    • by Kamiza Ikioi (893310) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @07:31AM (#16029286) Homepage
      Netflix does the same thing, only they sign unsigned movies that play at Sundance and the like, and give them non-exclusive DVD distribution deals.

      The real key? Once on Netflix, they get pushed as a new release over the recommendation mechanism. So, heard of or not, they get exposure and an audience quickly.

      MySpace has nothing like that to push unsigned bands, except to offer a sales/download link from all pages using the song. Also, Netflix hand picks each indie film, whereas MySpace is not hand picking indie bands and their songs.

      Honestly, I don't see the advantage here from the band's perspective. Selling a Vanilla mp3 is not hard for even the least qualified web tech using any e-commerce storefront. There's no DRM to fool with, so all you have to do is take an order, and offer a random url download or e-mail the MP3 directly to them. But, since its on the honor system, why not just let everyone download all the mp3's, and put up a paypal link as a "Tip Jar".
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jeff DeMaagd (2015)
        Honestly, I don't see the advantage here from the band's perspective. Selling a Vanilla mp3 is not hard for even the least qualified web tech using any e-commerce storefront.

        Really? You don't think that an additional level exposure to millions of MySpace users wouldn't help? How is some random site going to make money if there's no one promoting it?
        • Neither can they just open up sales and go, "Enjoy!".

          Like any band,, they already have a free MySpace page now. Of course, they're not allowed to sell anything from it, unless they pay MySpace for advertising space. But, it's not all that hard for a band to put a link to their domain in their MySpace account, and do sales there.

          Joining MySpace obviously is a big help to them. The part that really doesn't help the band is the teaming up with them on sales.

          But you hit a key point, promotion. Netflix does
      • by raehl (609729)
        Honestly, I don't see the advantage here from the band's perspective. Selling a Vanilla mp3 is not hard for even the least qualified web tech using any e-commerce storefront.

        This is just the rollout phase. Soon they'll be selling Chocolate mp3s, which is a whole different ballgame. And then what about Strawberry? Your average web tech just isn't waulified to be handling material like that.
    • Yes and no (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rinkjustice (24156)
      I know what you're saying, but once it's sold, certain metrics can come into play. Now numbers of sales and downloads can be measured, which will help potential consumers and listeners ascertain what is good/bad/will be popular. When your giving something away, who cares how many are using the product? When it's being sold, these numbers start to take on a new significance.
    • by androse (59759)
      I hate MySpace as much as the average slashdotter, but last week I discovered a new band called "No Bra", they only have released a couple of 12' (that's vinyl), no albums, no CDs, no MP3s. You can't download the songs they put on their MySpace page (yeah, I tried the various hacks to get them).

      So I would have been happy to buy their stuff, and way more than .99c a track too.
    • by Jugalator (259273)
      I'm still waiting for a high profile web company like Google to start a music service only hosting indie music *and* using this site to promote them, in more or less automated ways. (a bit like how Google News promote news stories based on popularity) Then go to an artist, and you have a forum for that artist where fans can discuss the music, as well as download it. Wrap it up in an easily nagivatable clean "Web 2.0 interface" and keep unrelated ads to a minimum. There could be top lists, voting, and all th
    • I Disagree (Score:2, Interesting)

      by alabubba (992382)
      Just yesterday, my son (17) said that there still was music being made as good as classic rock, it's just that it is all underground by bands that no one has heard of. The kids are finding this stuff on MySpace and letting each other know about the good music...the word gets around. There are a lot of unsigned bands out there; it will all depend upon how good their music is. If they strike the right chord with other MySpace users, there is plenty of room to be successful in selling their wares.
    • MP3.com already did this, until they were sued out of existence. MySpace: re-implementing the past, into the horribly implemented now.
  • memories (Score:3, Funny)

    by legoburner (702695) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @06:22AM (#16029161) Homepage Journal
    Reminds me of mp3.com which was quite neat back in the day and made a few unknown bands rather rich. I remember reading one success story of some jazz musician that was bringing in about $20000 per month from CD sales on mp3.com. Anything that loosens the grip of the Recording Industry Ass. of America and international equivalent is very welcome. Just dont let the myspace users design their own store areas like the horrific myspace personal pages :)
    • by neoform (551705)
      While it might be nice to see a very large site promoting unsigned bands, there's no way i would ever give my credit card information to MySpace. With a site so horribly designed and with so many exploits.. how can they possibly be trusted to handle secure information?
    • And it reminds me of IUMA.COM that came before MP3.COM. The whole purpose of which was to "Obviate t he business model of the recording industry" as the post puts it.

      Looks like its finally down, although it still shows up on Google. (note, I went to school with some of the guys who started the whole thing way back before MP3s even existed)

    • by westlake (615356)
      I remember reading one success story of some jazz musician that was bringing in about $20000 per month from CD sales on mp3.com

      You remember stories like these because they make you feel good, not because they are true or even plausible.

      The Original Amatuer Hour (The American Idol of 1935) had a twenty year run on radio and TV, of the 15,000 or so who made it to broadcast only Pat Boone and Frank Sinatra emerged as significant talents.

      Three million unsigned bands buried within a community the size of MyS

  • by Gopal.V (532678) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @06:26AM (#16029164) Homepage Journal

    No, it is well known in most advertising circles that word of mouth advertising is the most effective around. Especially, when dealing with the rebels, a real advertising campaign smacks of effort (he tries too hard, whatever !). If you're thinking of anything other than teen-pop (of the Hillary Duff flavour), that's probably half your market. And it does work too, very well.

    All in all, myspace is looking for ways to leverage the community network. And IMHO, iTunes has proved that the first requirement for a store is a player :)

    • by jb.hl.com (782137)
      I think it should be pointed out that the Arctic Monkeys didn't even know what MySpace was until after they became famous. MySpace played little, if any, part in their popularity.
  • This is great news (Score:4, Insightful)

    by the_unknown_soldier (675161) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @06:28AM (#16029166)
    Because pretty soon there will be pressure on RIAA bands who are on myspace to start selling their songs! This is definitely the revolution we are talking about where the RIAA record companies go bankrupt. Ironic that it will take a major multi-national corporation to do it!
    • by Instine (963303)
      ... I agree. This is hillarious for me, as I litterally just finished a rant to my wife about how stupid MySpace were for not doing exactly this (don't have to belive me - don't want a medal - but honestly, just minutes ago.).

      Personally I can't stand MySpace, but this might even drag me to it.
    • Well, News Corp [wikipedia.org] is one of the few media conglomerates not to have a music-producing subsidiary. If they pull this off right, it could be a tremendous coup for them (and for the little guy, strangely) against the rest of the music industry.

      What will be really interesting is whether some major names [musiccreators.ca] decide to jump ship from the traditional music industry and move to MySpace.
  • Vanilla Mp3 (Score:3, Funny)

    by in2mind (988476) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @06:28AM (#16029167) Homepage
    The new MySpace music store will feature vanilla MP3 downloads

    I guess that means Non-DRM'ed MP3...

  • by svunt (916464)
    No DRM,susre, that's great. But these files are hosted by MySpace...I can see my ipod actually melting in my hand while trying to parse all 97 pieces of malicious code tacked on to the file while it sat on their server.
    • by Andy Dodd (701)
      MP3s are a media file. They cannot (at least not normall) contain executable code. While there have been instances of buffer overflow exploits in the ID3 tag parsers of some MP3 player software, I don't believe anything beyond a proof-of-concept exploit was ever released before all of the major players released patches.

      There are plenty of less trustworthy sources than MySpace to get MP3s, and so far to my knowledge, no one has ever gotten rooted by media content downloaded from P2P networks, they have onl
  • In case you haven't heard of it, there is http://www.podshow.com/ [podshow.com] selling tracks at 99c a throw. There is a huge amount of stuff in there. Some of it is good but someof it does not appeal to me at all!Maybe it is bad, or maybe it's just not my taste.

    Or are people here avoiding it because Adam Curry is not suitable for nerds? I like his show anyway.

    • by pimpimpim (811140)
      The site is not very user-friendly, I really have to search to find those tracks. As he is an internet 'veteran', that is a bit dissappointing. Even though I think for a radio DJ he is probably pretty smart to get into a new business and be at least among the pioneers of such a field.
  • by codefrog (302314) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @06:31AM (#16029172)
    FTA: "Songs can be sold [...] in non-copyright-protected MP3 digital file format [...]"

    This is a perfect horrible example of a 'innocent' slip which conflates DRM with copyright; it cooperates with the corporate worldview that DRM is necessary to protect copyright. I don't know how to get in touch with the author but I would really love to set this kind of thing straight.

    RMS may be a freak but I think he's right in that we have to be careful about the language we use; it defines and affects the thought patterns of both speaker and listener.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Entropy (6967)

      RMS may be a freak but I think he's right in that we have to be careful about the language we use; it defines and affects the thought patterns of both speaker and listener.

      RMS isn't the first to expound this idea, either. In 1984, George Orwell made the point that controlling language meant controlling thought, thus the party in power created "Newspeak". The [RI/MP]AA are trying to tell the populace right now that DRM is double plus good for them. Our job as geeks is to make sure they don't buy it.

      • by Have Blue (616)
        The strong version of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis was disproven some time ago.
    • by Gadzinka (256729)

      RMS may be a freak but I think he's right in that we have to be careful about the language we use; it defines and affects the thought patterns of both speaker and listener.

      The theory you are referring to is called Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis [wikipedia.org]. So far it is neither confirmed nor busted, but there are strong arguments against it. I suggest further reading on the subject.

      Robert

      • The theory you are referring to is called Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis. So far it is neither confirmed nor busted, but there are strong arguments against it. I suggest further reading on the subject.

        There are arguments against the strong version of Sapir-Whorf, but there are also arguments against language having *no* influence on thought. Most of the argument is on which form of "weak" Sapir-Whorf is the correct one.

        As a side note, the idea that language affects thought is no more radical than the idea that com
      • This is a different issue than Newspeak. A better example than 1984 is the Bush Administration's sell of the war in Iraq. The administration repeatedly spoke about Al Qaeda and Iraq in the same breath, knowing that most people would not look into it further and assume that the two were related. It is deliberate deceit.
      • by Entropy (6967)
        I have mod points, but alas I've already commented in this thread. But I would like to thank you for that, because, DAMN, that's a useful bit of info.
  • by DarkHelmet (120004)
    See, although this is fantastic for individual bands looking to make money, this still won't curb piracy, and it still won't address any of the primary music that people listen to in general.

    What the slashdot crowd fails to see is that the majority of people out there are NOT aware of issues like DRM, and are NOT anti-RIAA. The RIAA still has a huge impact with stuff such as MTV and Radio, so it doesn't really change the model of how things work that much... it just chips away at it.

    Music and Hollywood

    • Re:No (Ve:Gas) (Score:3, Insightful)

      by McGiraf (196030)
      "The problem is society in general. People want to see movies with specific actors. People want to listen to specific musicians, not bands that are just like them."

      And why do you think they want to see these actors and listen to this music in particular, who gave them the idea? Who controls what they get mostly exposed to? Who?

  • Works until.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by neo8750 (566137) <zepskiNO@SPAMzepski.net> on Saturday September 02, 2006 @06:42AM (#16029197) Homepage
    This will probly end up working pretty decently give the "artists" don't decieded that they need to over charge for their music (price limits could be set by mysapce).

    On the other hand i could see the Record Industry just sitting and watching to see which band seems to be doing the best and then bum-rush them with a contract for them to sign so the RIAA can cash in (as we know they so love to do) on this fresh artist (that already has a decent fan base). Basicly they are letting Myspace do all the hard work of promoting the band and they will swoop in at the end snag up the band and then squeeze every last penny out of them and us when the band release the studio record through them.

    now if myspace really wanted to appeal to artist they should set up a recording studio and allow there artists they support to release records under their label.

    it be a win for both seeing how the artist get a cheaper studio to produce in and release under and mysapce makes some extra cash flow....yeah i know it probly won't happen but its just an idea.

    • by MooUK (905450)
      These days you don't need a lot for good-quality homemade recordings.
    • "On the other hand i could see the Record Industry just sitting and watching to see which band seems to be doing the best and then bum-rush them with a contract for them to sign so the RIAA can cash in (as we know they so love to do) on this fresh artist (that already has a decent fan base)."

      Hey, good way to misrepresent what the industry does.

      Webster's

      bum-rush, v.t. Slang.

      to force one's way into; crash: to bum-rush a rap concert.

      Yeah, calling up and saying "we can promote your future records for a cut" is
  • Yes (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 02, 2006 @06:44AM (#16029200)
    Is this the example we have all been waiting for of how the Internet will obviate the business model of the recording industry?
    Yes... except it's at MySpace, the greatest hellhole on the entire Internet. I'm so conflicted...
  • by joel8x (324102) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @06:55AM (#16029229) Homepage
    ""Everyone we've spoken to definitely wants an alternative to iTunes and the iPod. MySpace could be that alternative."

    This statement sounds really uninformed in its context in the article. There are a lot of alternatives, but most people don't want them. Anybody who has any tech savvy needs to take their head out of their ass when they come up with ideas like this. The reason why people put up with Apple's DRM'ed technology is because its easy to use. Non-tech people can and do use it, and those same people avoid the other options because they are confusing. Now, I understand that selling a DRM-less MP3 will work with the iPod, which is very important to compete, but how will it be delivered to the user? Will it automatically show up in a playlist in a program such as iTunes so that a non-tech person doesn't have to search for the downloaded file and put it where it belongs so he/she can immediately play it after its done? There are a lot of little details that Apple paid attention to that contribute to its success with this industry. Until someone can come up with a total solution that plays as nicely as iTunes and works with the iPod, they will all be dead in the water.

    As technical people, this news sounds great, but we are a relatively small population compared to the rest of the world. In order for an idea like this to work on the level of iTunes/iPod, the less-than-savvy need to be addressed.

  • Such a service would only ever work with listeners whose musical tastes are still forming, and who would see the net as the authoritative place where new music can be found.

    As it turns out, this describes MySpace's audience perfectly, so yes, this could work.

    With MySpace's ranking system, they only need to find a few dozen bands with real talent to make it a success. With a population of 300M bands to draw upon, that should be possible.

    The record labels will never, ever give up their right to control distr
    • "The record labels will never, ever give up their right to control distribution."

      Let's see.... They offer distribution and a cut in exchange for promotion and production. And, apparently, you want them to do this for the "poor" artist for free? Why, pray tell?
  • ...from 6 years ago. Still trying to figure out that second step looks like.
  • Not the first (Score:2, Interesting)

    by JamesTKirk (876319)
    This is a big step, because it cuts out the Labels entirely. I'd love to see this grow, and I think with the popularity of MySpace, it's a real possibility. I won't buy an DRM encumbered music, because you're really only renting it. There's no guarantee that you'll be able to play that music in the future. For example, if you at any point stop paying your subscription, you won't be able to play that music on any other device, so at that point you'll only own that music for the life of the device.

    This
    • One of the things about "DRM" and audio, is that it is very easy to remove. For apple, just burn and audio cd. Ta-da DRM free music. unless you think cds won't be around much longer.... Every other audio format is subject to the "Analog hole".

      Video is another story. Harder to remove the DRM, when they won't let you burn to DVD.

      Your right about emusic.

      • Why should anyone have to waste their time burning and reripping. I'm tired of people saying that. It's not an alternative; it's a hassle. A real alternative would be for the various music stores to provide MP3s without any shite attached.
  • 1. Myspace is BIG, one of the most frequented sites on the internet.
    2. Lots of teenagers/young people.
    3. Store.
    4. Profit.
    I was waiting for them to come up with a store for ages now, that is the sensible business decision, the only part that has suprised me is the unsigned bands. Pretty much the way to make the RIAA hurt. All copyright infringement in the world didn't hurt RIAA this much as this simple move!
  • by SamMichaels (213605) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @07:47AM (#16029317)
    Plenty of confusion here...people have already commented to clear up the DRM confusion, let's take a look at the industry:

    1. The label signs the artist.
    2. The label pays for expensive studio time.
    3. The rep from the label contacts the program directors at radio stations to get airplay. Sending your demo tape to a station will not get you on the air...reps who offer tickets at concerts and coop opportunities for bigger artists get airplay (because payola is technically illegal).
    4. The label pays for CD duplication, printing, distribution.
    5. The label sends your CD to the music outlets.
    6. The label arranges concerts, merchandising, etc to make you rich (because we all know artists make nearly nothing on the music itself).

    In this day and age, computers and very inexpensive technology have somewhat eliminated the need for expensive studio time...but you can't cheap out on a real producer and real mastering engineer. Regardless, let's assume you have a decent recording. Instead of radio airplay, you go for popularity on myspace. You have no costs for CD duplication, printing, distribution or the need for agreements with music outlets. You arrange tshirt/mug/hat printing from an online business.

    So...we're basically outdating the labels and the radio stations.
    • Don't forget the part where the label pays the DJs to play your song enough to become a top-40 hit.
    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @11:33AM (#16029883) Journal
      you can't cheap out on a real producer and real mastering engineer

      Are you sure? I've been involved with a couple of low-volume CD releases (choral and classical). We got the entire thing done very cheaply (around £2/CD total costs for a run of under 200), and no one complained about the quality. Sure, if you've got a 'singer' who is so untalented that you need to apply complex frequency correction to his or her voice to make her sound remotely competent then you might need someone expensive, but if you already have a good sound then putting it on a disc isn't too hard.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DMaster0 (26135)
      okay, you're a little confused about how the music industry actually works, works for itself, and doesn't represent the rights and best interest of the musicians they "sign". (or indenture, depending on how you like to look at it).

      Typical Major Label:

      1. The label signs the artist. to a contract that allows the record label to own forever, the music that the artists create, giving the label all rights to income from the artists, forever. This means that someone who writes a song doesn't actually get cred
  • by motiz88 (912086)

    I bet these "MP3s from unsigned bands" won't play in Vista x64 Edition...

    It's a matter of security, you see.

  • Who Owns it? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tacocat (527354) <tallison1@twmi.r ... com minus author> on Saturday September 02, 2006 @08:46AM (#16029415)
    I wonder what is going to happen to these unsigned songs when the band is signed and wants to use these songs in their first album. Will MySpace own the music?
  • Well, I know that if the Norweigen band Katthult is going to be one of the 3 million bands on MySpace Music then I'll be buying every album they offer because you can't buy their physical albums in the USA and I don't wanna buy them on iTunes.
  • Another interesting business model for helping unsigned bands is SellaBand [sellaband.com]. They provide mp3's for free, and if you like a band enough to think they have a shot, you can pledge money on $10 increments called 'parts'. Once a band racks up $50K in pledges, they get real studio time, CDs pressed, etc. Then a portion of all CD sales goes back to the 'believers' who pledged. Supposedly, one can revoke their pledge at any time before it reaches $50K.
  • Isn't this what mp3.com did?
    Then one day they shut down and wiped all the music, slighyly pissing off people.
  • by iminplaya (723125) <iminplaya.gmail@com> on Saturday September 02, 2006 @02:28PM (#16030420) Journal
    along with mandatory broadcast flags. Both of which are nuts and are really designed to raise the entry fee. The RIAA will get their pound of flesh one way or another. We already subsidize that bunch with the tax on blank recording material.

One possible reason that things aren't going according to plan is that there never was a plan in the first place.

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