Friday, March 14, 2008

How Myspace Records is Changing the Music Business

What if a Record label had a mailing list of over 100,000,000 individuals, who all saw the message you are trying to get across every time they opened their web browser?

What if a record label had other labels sending over truckloads of cash to advertise on their competition’s home page?

Why don’t they use their connections to land their artists tv gigs, cross promotion, oh and a tv station of their own?

Oh, did I mention that they are owned by the world’s largest media conglomerate.

What if this label already existed? It does. It is called Myspace Records. Yes, that Myspace.

From a KidzWorld interview with Myspace Records artist, Kate Voegele;

Signing with MySpace was such a cool experience for me. I basically got hooked up with them when Tom (yes, "the" Tom who is everyone's first friend) *laughs* sent me a message asking if I was signed yet.

So how did Myspace and Myspace Records help Voegele, a new age pop princess, get to the top of the iTunes (number 4) and Billboard (number 5 on Top Digital Albums) charts in February 2008?

  1. Sent a nice message to their over 100,000,000 million users stating that Kate’s new record is now available.
  2. Landing a 6 episode gig as Mia on the CW hit teen drama ‘One Tree Hill
  3. Having 6 of her album’s tracks featured on the re-occuring episodes
  4. Launching her album on the same day her role as Mia came to life on tv
  5. Pricing it fairly in retail outlets (I got a copy at suggested retail price of $7.99 at Target)
  6. Video blogging on her Myspace page and on MyspaceTV
  7. I’m sure there are more, but you get my point

What can this mean to the music industry?

  1. It can be run by kids who start internet communities in their dorm rooms.
  2. Artists are empowering themselves through online promotional tools.
  3. Internet communities can possibly start to monetize their sites. Build the community, build trust, sign an artist and promote it over your network. Genius.
  4. Major record labels will attempt to build communities; they will do it wrong and possibly sue their users for copyright infringement.
  5. Major record labels will use and abuse the power that the Social Networking communities have and turn more users away.
  6. Indie labels will continue to prosper through viral marketing on these community based sites. They will use their bands to help promote other bands within their label. Look at all the Fueled By Ramen bands on Myspace. Help the team and everyone wins.
  7. As the social networks integrate more and more of the internet into their communities there will be more opportunity and more competition with which you are competing against.
  8. Labels will start partnering with application and widget builders much like how film and tv licensing is working now. I can see it now; Pirates vs. Ninjas becomes 50 Cent vs. whoever he is beefing with the moment.
  9. Labels and indie artists will start making their tracks available for free on revenue sharing widgets on all of the social networks. The key is collecting enough data from the downloading party for future use (e-mail, location, etc).

Can you think of more ways that Social Networks will help shape the face of the music business? Let’s think outside the box and help change the game.

-Greg Rollett


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