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MySpace Teams With Record Companies To Create Music Site

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the competition-is-a-good-thing dept.

Music 147

The New York Times reports on a deal between MySpace and three of the four major music labels to develop a new music website. Users will be able to stream songs for free, purchase downloadable tracks, and (possibly) pay a flat monthly fee for unlimited access. From the Times: "Exact terms of the deal and details about the new site, like prices for downloaded music tracks, were not disclosed. But MySpace did say the site would offer songs free of digital rights management software or D.R.M., which is used to prevent illicit copying but can create technical hurdles for buyers. The songs would be playable on any portable music device, including Apple's iPod. For the music industry, the deal is partly born of desperation. In the face of widespread, escalating online piracy, music sales dropped to $11.5 billion in 2006 from a peak in 1999 of nearly $15 billion."

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Oh yeah that sounds great (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22959078)

just put an "i" in front of whatever this thing is, and it will be the coolest.

More power to them (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22959096)

It almost sounds as if they are considering treating their customers as *gasp* customers!

I think the falling sales are the industry's fault (4, Insightful)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#22959544)

"It almost sounds as if they are considering treating their customers as *gasp* customers!"

Quote from the Slashdot story: "In the face of widespread, escalating online piracy, music sales dropped..."

To me, that sounds like the music industry saying, "If something bad happens, it must be someone else's fault."

I think the falling sales are the industry's fault. I was supposed to by a Britney Spears CD to hear her singing something about abusing men? If the music industry wants strong sales, it can be kind to the customer and produce something valuable.

Off topic, but important. (-1, Offtopic)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#22959786)

Off topic: Former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura said yesterday [youtube.com] that he thinks the complete, symmetrical destruction of the World Trade Center was a controlled demolition [minnpost.com] .

Re:Off topic, but important. (2, Insightful)

wish bot (265150) | more than 6 years ago | (#22960886)

That's right. Someone who doesn't know the first thing about tall structures and engineering failures thinks it was a controlled demolition. Great.

A bit more respect is due. (0, Offtopic)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961038)

Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura was a Navy Seal, trained in demolition. If you listen to the interview, you will hear his reasons.

Re:A bit more respect is due. (0, Offtopic)

memorycardfull (1187485) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961270)

Respectfully, he was trained to blow things up underwater. Ventura makes it clear that he knows nothing about controlled demolitions, even going so far as to say his expertise boils down to throwing more C4 on something if you don't get the job done the first time. He is using the same approach to sell his new book through this radio interview, except he is substituting 9/11 conspiracy for C4.

Re:I think the falling sales are the industry's fa (4, Funny)

Merusdraconis (730732) | more than 6 years ago | (#22959830)

"In the face of widespread, escalating online piracy, music sales dropped to $11.5 billion in 2006 from a peak in 1999 of nearly $15 billion."

This has got less to do with piracy and more to do with Amy Winehouse's crack bill.

Cocaine is one hell of a drug... (1)

Chineseyes (691744) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961112)

I'm sure if we look back historically there was a similar dip in revenue around the time Rick James first became popular.

Re:I think the falling sales are the industry's fa (1)

electrictroy (912290) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961520)

>>>Quote from the Slashdot story: "In the face of widespread, escalating online piracy, music sales dropped..."

Funny, but let's examine this seriously. Have music sales dropped? Yes. And no.

- CD sales have dropped. That's true.

- But Single sales have soared to the highest level EVER experienced by record companies. Single sales on Itunes and other online stores have sold more units than any time in history. (Funny how the record companies conveniently forgot to mention that fact. What's that old saying? "Lying with statistics"?)

Re:I think the falling sales are the industry's fa (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22960060)

I was supposed to by a Britney Spears CD to hear her singing something about abusing men?
Britney Spears songs objectify men?

I'm sure the femanazis are pleased.

Re:I think the falling sales are the industry's fa (1)

Myopic (18616) | more than 6 years ago | (#22960724)

Are you saying you have pirated copies of Britney Spears? Golly, you have terrible taste in music! When I pirate music, I choose some of the vast amounts of excellent music also put out by the record industry. You should look into it, there's a ton of it.

The industry is experiencing a slump of creativity (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961056)

"Are you saying you have pirated copies of Britney Spears?"

Yuck. Certainly not. And I'm not a pirate. I was saying that I didn't hear much that I felt was worth buying. The industry is experiencing a slump of creativity.

Re:I think the falling sales are the industry's fa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22960884)

Of course, the fact that the average price per song dropped from ~3$ (1999, CD) to ~1$ (2008, online) has nothing to do with it.

That, too. (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961048)

Good point.

SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22959104)

_0_
\''\
'=o='
.|!|
.| |
click here for the hottest myspace updates [goatse.ch]

Re:SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (1)

cloakable (885764) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961456)

Hey, that's accurate!

Goatse is the best thing on myspace!

oh yea (0, Troll)

play with my balls (1253180) | more than 6 years ago | (#22959114)

I'd let Myspace nestle it's balls in my mouth. Wow, trolling or not, that felt dirty.

Because of iTunes? (4, Interesting)

trawg (308495) | more than 6 years ago | (#22959132)

There's a few things like this and I've seen several people attribute them to the iTunes 'stranglehold' on the market.

I think its sort of awesome; we're seeing more variety and more competition in the market now than ever before. Of course that's not saying much when before was more or less == 0, but hey - it's a start.

While I have long been skeptical of the record industries ability to do anything other than try to ream consumers, the fact that they seem finally willing to ditch DRM en masse is certainly giving me some hope for the future.

Re:Because of iTunes? (2, Interesting)

Slashdot Suxxors (1207082) | more than 6 years ago | (#22959158)

I like it to.

I just hope they don't stick glittery shit all over my MP3's.

Re:Because of iTunes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22959170)

Didn't Real player try this with the Rhapsody service.
I used to work in Hifi, and this would pair up with the Sonos home audio system. Provided you had the bandwith available, it was a great union...

Re:Because of iTunes? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22959206)

While I have long been skeptical of MySpace's ability to do anything other than try to cause seizures in people, the fact that they seem finally willing to do something useful en masse is certainly giving me some hope for the future.

Unfortunately, I am not looking forward to the auditory equivalent of MySpace.

Re:Because of iTunes? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22959290)

Of course that's not saying much when before was more or less == 0,
I don't think this statement means what you think it means. == is an equality operator, not an assignment operator. You are saying "Of course that's not saying much when before was true" or "Of course that's not saying much when before was false" depending on how == is evaluated. If you are confused, stick to assembly language. Things always make more sense in assembly or pseudo-assembly language:

PUSH AX
MOV AX, 0
MOV [before], AX
POP AX

vs.

CMP [more or less], #0
JE somewhere_else
:fall_through

Re:Because of iTunes? (5, Insightful)

samkass (174571) | more than 6 years ago | (#22959686)

iTunes is the only thing standing between the consumer and the record labels desire to charge $2.99 per track. The illusion of competition evaporates when you realize that all the popular music is owned by a couple of companies. They have the monopoly. If iTunes "stranglehold" on distribution is broken, it will become the consumer against the record labels directly, without Apple to stand in the way. That's why other sites are able to offer such deals-- the record labels are intentionally trying to break Apple's control of distribution not out of altruism but because they think that it will lead to increased profits (ie. higher prices) down the line.

Re:Because of iTunes? (4, Funny)

yotto (590067) | more than 6 years ago | (#22959738)

Yeah! If there's competition between iTunes and MySpace, and MySpace charges $2.99 per track like the RIAA wants, Whatever will Apple do? They'll be forced to raise their prices to $2.99 just to compete!

Re:Because of iTunes? (4, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 6 years ago | (#22960506)

Yeah! If there's competition between iTunes and MySpace, and MySpace charges $2.99 per track like the RIAA wants, Whatever will Apple do? They'll be forced to raise their prices to $2.99 just to compete!
I guess it is not obvious.

The competition between itunes and myspace is not for the consumer dollar, it is for the music industry's product. If myspace gets enough traction with consumers the MAFIAA can tell Jobs to stick that 99 cents up his ass, because they are going to stop supplying music to itunes for sale - instead they will switch over all of their product to myspace and it's $2.99 prices.

Apple is left with no songs to sell, and the music industry gets to start raping and pillaging again with the help of their old buddy, Rupert Murdoch.

Re:Because of iTunes? (4, Interesting)

MoriaOrc (822758) | more than 6 years ago | (#22960988)

1) iTunes charges $.99 per song.
2) RIAA licenses MySpace/Amazon/Microsoft/etc to also provide the same or a wider selection of music. (This is where we are now.)
2a) If [New Competitor] has more restrictive DRM or offers a worse deal, or more likely when it doesn't work with their iPods, it fails to gain traction and eventually closes shop. (This has happened several times.)
3) Consumers flock to [new competitor] thanks to their clear advantage over the iTunes store. (warning: entering extremely hypothetical territory)
4) Record companies "tell Jobs where he can stick that 99 cents," call up [new competitor] and tell them its time to up the price to 2.99 a track!
4a) If [new competitor] complies, consumers flock out in droves quicker then they came in, [new competitor] closes up shop. Record companies better renegotiate to (1) before things get even worse for them.
5) More likely, [new competitor] realizes that a price hike of just about any size (let alone a 200% increase) will cause (4a) and tells the record companies where it can stick it's 2.99.

Record companies decision time:
Deal with the new monopoly and it's improved (from a consumer perspective) standards: goto (1), replacing iTunes with [new competitor].
Attempt to break the new monopoly by driving consumers to a new store, where prices can be raised: goto (2), and probably to (2a) not long after.

Seriously, consumers have had $.99 songs for too long now to accept a price hike with no justification. This theory someone always pops up when a new store is announced, that once they get a big enough market share iTunes will get the boot and prices will go through the roof. It's crazier than the RIAA litigation strategy.

We've seen countless new online music stores fail to grab more then a tiny segment of the market from Apple. This one doesn't seem to offer much that hasn't been tried better before, including name-brand recognition.

Re:Because of iTunes? (1, Insightful)

danielsfca2 (696792) | more than 6 years ago | (#22960994)

Well, i'm glad somebody gets it besides just me.

The Apple-haters can't seem to fathom that Apple's market power in this particular industry is good for us all even if you hate Apple, iPods, iTunes, MP4AAC, and DRM. The reason being, while Apple may piss you off sometimes, they ARE the only ones selling major-label music today who aren't 100% the RIAA labels' bitch.

As more and more of this DRM-Free-Elsewhere-But-Still-Insisting-on-DRM-in-iTunes shit keeps going down it gets more and more clear what their #1 goal is: "Kill iTunes because they don't play ball with us."

Followed by "switch over to variable pricing" which will mean the 2 good songs on the album will be $4 apiece and the other 10 are 49c.

Followed by re-introduction of DRM on these sites in order to "curb rampant piracy." This is definitely a goal, since you can't seriously believe that these cocksuckers WANT to do away with DRM. Now in order to get DRM back they need to hope to god the Zune or something catches on, though, since an iPod-dominated market of course means you have to work with Apple or go DRM-free.

Re:Because of iTunes? (2, Insightful)

Draek (916851) | more than 6 years ago | (#22960176)

You know things are fucked up when you have to depend on a monopoly to keep another monopoly within bounds.

Though personally I'd still take the extra competition, the RIAA is going under no matter what, and I'm willing to put up with a bit more trashing if it means we won't end up with another Microsoft.

Re:Because of iTunes? (1)

loganrapp (975327) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961042)

Just because you really really want the RIAA to go under, doesn't mean it's going to happen.


The **AA isn't going to die until it's dead.

Re:Because of iTunes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22960244)

I really think you're overstating things. $2.99 per track simply wouldn't sell and, while the iPod and iPhone give Apple an ability to have a huge marketshare of digital sales, if iTunes disappeared tomorrow another name would take over - perhaps Amazon. Like with any business venture, corporations are profit hungry and will want to raise prices as much as they can but market forces will come into play and slap a little bit of common sense into them. Even with the record label cabal firmly in control for the lifetime of CDs in the marketplace, I'll pay about the same for a CD now (in dollar amount, not adjusted for inflation) as I would have back when I got my first 7 CDs for Christmas '91; I believe they were all around $15 apiece. The main difference is we don't get longboxes on single CDs anymore.

This could be kind of cool (2, Interesting)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 6 years ago | (#22959148)

I'd like to see if they let independent artists who haven't signed with a label for a record deal yet sell their music on MySpace. TFA provides too little information, but this could end up as a good way for starving artists to stop starving.

Re:This could be kind of cool (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22959310)

I'd like to see if they let independent artists who haven't signed with a label for a record deal yet sell their music on MySpace.
They already do.

boring (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22959150)

unimaginative, ready to fade to history

Gee, the wheels came off! (1)

clifffton (912293) | more than 6 years ago | (#22959152)

The music industry is getting it's due. Musicians (what few there are left recording for the big 4) have gotten the shaft for 100 years. Sadly there isn't even anything new that an old dude like me would even steal. I support the bands I love when they come to town, you should too. That's how they get paid! Becker & Fagen (Steelydan.com) get my $$ and so do The Tubes (thetubes.com the most fun live shows.... ever!). I'm not in the target demo for the music companies, but I'd spend if I heard anything I liked.

last.fm? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22959166)

Doesn't last.fm already offer this, save the monthly fee?

Re:last.fm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22960440)

And before last.fm imeem was doing it, and before imeem was doing it deezer was doing it.

but myspace wants to kill all of those

Now if they'd just get the prices down (4, Interesting)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 6 years ago | (#22959184)

Ten years ago I predicted .04 cents per song to be the natural price for an mp3, and that's all they need to do to get me to pay.

Who wants to keep track of all this crap on your hard drive?  I'll pay four cents every time I want to hear most songs.

And if, for some reason, I want to save it as an mp3, I expect to be able to do so, with no arguments.

You serve me, RIAA bitches, not the other way around.  Maybe you're starting to understand this you stupid fucking bastards.

Re:Now if they'd just get the prices down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22959390)

Hey your right. They don't serve anyone. Just know someone in the business who just let go six of her acts. Can't make music whilst working at Wal Mart. Sort of sad.

Re:Now if they'd just get the prices down (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22959676)

If you insist on using that font, I must mark you as "foe".

You work for Verizon? (4, Funny)

d4nowar (941785) | more than 6 years ago | (#22959732)

.04 dollars or .04 cents?

Re:You work for Verizon? (1)

nwogoldberg99 (934656) | more than 6 years ago | (#22959976)

Damn, you beat me to it.

Re:You work for Verizon? (1)

xant (99438) | more than 6 years ago | (#22960260)

GP actually does seem to be saying .04 cents i.e. $0.0004, because he oddly seems to be advocating a pay-per-play model. $4 for a track I play 1000 times sounds about right to me too, but I certainly dont' want to get the printed paper bill for THAT service.

Re:You work for Verizon? (1)

xant (99438) | more than 6 years ago | (#22960272)

Whoops, funny math. I guess that's 40 cents per thousand. That seems a bit low.

Anyway, I've always said $0.25 per song, and no damn DRM, is my sweet spot. Apple's $1 per track can blow me.. that's basically what I was paying the music industry for albums, back when I gave a shit about buying music.

Re:Now if they'd just get the prices down (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22960082)

I'm sorry, but I just can't buy into the argument that $1 per-track is too expensive or that CDs in general are overpriced. Not when video games are $60 each.

Re:Now if they'd just get the prices down (2, Interesting)

zenkonami (971656) | more than 6 years ago | (#22960446)

I'm sorry, but I just can't buy into the argument that $1 per-track is too expensive or that CDs in general are overpriced. Not when video games are $60 each.
Starbucks charges more than $1.50 for a plain cup of coffee.

At the Ralphs Grocery Store down the street (they are an average, Kroger owned supermarket), the generic loaf of white bread cost $2.00.

At the pump, regular unleaded gasoline was $3.69 a gallon two days ago.

Mass Market Paperback books range from $5.99 to $9.99.

New Release DVDs have been between $2.00 to $6.00 for several years now...to RENT

At this point, you can have most songs a la carte, without the baggage of songs you dislike. If we can open up more avenues for new music to be heard without buying it, then we can buy what we like with confidence.

I have to agree with the parent. A dollar for a song (especially a DRM free song) that we are going to listen to over and over again is very reasonable considering the amount of work that often goes into creating and producing a song. Perhaps the production chain is not as massive as many video games have become, but I dare say in most cases the replay value is higher.

And just in case anyone suggests that all those items mentioned above are physical objects and thus have more value than the ethereal song, consider any time you may have spent working in retail, or a service industry, where you produced nothing of "value." We don't consider that work worthless in our society.

Re:Now if they'd just get the prices down (1)

mdenham (747985) | more than 6 years ago | (#22960478)

And just in case anyone suggests that all those items mentioned above are physical objects and thus have more value than the ethereal song, consider any time you may have spent working in retail, or a service industry, where you produced nothing of "value." We don't consider that work worthless in our society.
The way I got treated back then, you coulda fooled me that we, and our work, weren't considered worthless. This is why I have a manufacturing job that pays, instead of $7.90/hr, $13.22/hr.

It's not much of an improvement, but at least it is one.

Re:Now if they'd just get the prices down (1)

Omestes (471991) | more than 6 years ago | (#22960744)

I'll pay four cents every time I want to hear most songs.

Ouch. Some days I have music playing 24/7, that would add up DAMN fast. Until I reset last.fm was telling me I played 15,000 songs in the last year, this is a sum of money FAR beyond my means.

I know you suffixed this with being able to save to MP3 at will. Which makes more sense. But is a pipe dream. The only way I ever see 4c being a viable sum is if we completely removed the middle man (both on retail, distro, and RIAA), and even then it would be rather hard to justify that. If it was a popular band 4c might be able to clear the production costs (and hosting, etc...) and leave some profit for the band, but for any smaller act this would be impossible. With smaller acts they sell less, and thus have less revenue, also they need more promotion, meaning more overhead.

Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead (to name the two latest huge self-distributors) might have no problem with offering songs for 4c, and still pull off a profit. they don't even need to promote anymore, they have a fan base, and free publicity (fan sites). A small or middling band isn't this free though.

10-25c sounds fair to me, given independence of the artists. Low enough for a good impulse buy, but high enough to recoup costs. 50c with the current scheme is also pretty fair. 5.00 a CD is the point to shoot for.

As for the RIAA serving you... Your right. Subpoenas are on special today.

Prices of other things (2, Interesting)

kermit1221 (75994) | more than 6 years ago | (#22959192)

Ya, it's piracy's fault that music sales dropped 3.5 billion in seven years.

I'm sure that the cost of gasoline doubling in that same time had nothing to do with people buying fewer CDs.

Re:Prices of other things (1)

mkiwi (585287) | more than 6 years ago | (#22959720)

The recording industry can blame itself for its crappy music. People don't want to buy their music because all the music that comes out now is a terrible combination of Pop, Funk, and Rap.

Just think of how well Britney Spears was doing at that time, then look now. That is the look of the recoding industry.

Re:Prices of other things (4, Insightful)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22960234)

Or you could look at it as the target audience diversifying far more than they ever did before.

From the inception of vinyl until the turn of the century, most people just bought pop music, because that was the only music they could hear at the time. There was nothing to compare contemporary music to, so people bought it out of ignorance. Generation gaps, outdated and worn out audio formats, scarcity due to albums going out of print, and a general lack of interest or time/money to sample, kept the majority of listeners from experiencing music's rich history.

Once Napster came about, people suddenly had instantaneous access to almost the entire back catalog of all prerecorded music (or at least all music that was released on CDs). This allowed for a rebirth of older music and genres that hadn't seen as many fans since their industry-granted 15 minutes of fame expired, as well as the diversification and maturing of musical taste in the majority of listeners. Lots of people I know like older music as well as new music, and have a far more diverse set of musical ascetics than any of the generations past. The success of the Guitar Hero franchise is an excellent example of this. Most of the soundtrack is either indie music or music that's at least 20 years old, yet it sells because people have heard a decent amount of the soundtrack before and found that they liked it much better than what plays on today's top 40 radio or what's in the CD racks at Wal-Mart.

The industry is dying primarily because their business model relied on music being disposable and the audience being fickle and spontaneous. Since P2P emerged, tastes have become more engraved in the general populace, and it's usually difficult to get people to stop liking the really good artists just because something new has come out. Now that they can't get people to throw out their old albums anymore for new ones, the industry has lost its moneymaker. Yes, people are now more used to the idea of music being "free," but the real cause of sales slippage is because the industry has failed to diversify as fast as its populace has. It's still trying to market pop idols as if these were the days of old. Not anymore.

Re:Prices of other things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22960328)

Perhaps the reason sales are falling is that consumers are beginning to realise that labels put out a continuous stream of tat which isn't even worth listening to - in the uk this is especially apparent with the 'instant hits' (just add water) which are big sellers but have the quality of a squashed lemon.

The state of the music industry is dire, entirely focussed on making the largest return.

Let the netlabels take over with their free high quality music - the bedroom artists are here!

Let me fix that for you ... (5, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22959202)

In the face of widespread, escalating online piracy, music sales dropped to $11.5 billion in 2006 from a peak in 1999 of nearly $15 billion."
In the face of imploding pop-tarts like Britney Speares, music sales dropped to $11.5 billion in 2006 from a peak in 1999 of nearly $15 billion."

There, fixed it for you.

Re:Let me fix that for you ... (2)

Trogre (513942) | more than 6 years ago | (#22960500)

No, no, and a hundred more times NO!

There was at least as much crap music in the 90s as there is now. And the 80s. And the 70s.

I have my theories, but I don't really know the reason for declining album sales, save that poor music isn't it. It appears the RIAA doesn't know the reason either.

Re:Let me fix that for you ... (1)

loganrapp (975327) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961132)

Yes, but the difference is - with the proliferation of the Internet, people began to realize that, hey, this music actually sucks, because look over there! That music is way better.


In the 90s you were rock, metal, or a pussy. Now? Standards of music amongst the music hounds are way higher. Genres are much more diversified.

Britney Spears and her ilk are long gone. "Fergie" being the one exception, but note how quickly she transitioned from "musician" to just a brand, lending her name to everything. Her last album came in 2006.

The new faces of pop? Recently it's been British. Well, you've got Lily Allen (Capitol), Kate Nash (Interscope), Amy Winehouse (Republic), and then the one American KT Tunstall (Virgin). These are the leading ladies being shown on VH1. Throw Justin Timberlake out there on the male side and the field of up-and-coming pop music ain't so bad.

Perhaps the reason why the recording industry is allegedly losing money is because the amount of money they're pumping into touching up the voices and instruments of corporate hacks while the people above have never needed that, and they're starting to realize it. The problem is that for many of these new artists, they're also the predominant songwriters (Allen, Nash and Winehouse, I know, Tunstall I'm unsure), which means the labels aren't getting money for writing those songs, and the artists have a bit more power to say what the label can and cannot do with their songs.

As a show, I hate American Idol almost as much as I hate The Da Vinci Code as a book, but both are doing solid things for their prospective industries - getting audiences to think about the industry's inner workings. I certainly know a lot of people who had no idea the amount of money that gets pumped into a single artist by a major label until after they watched Idol and got to thinking about it. "And they still sound like that? Lame." It brings a smile to my face.

Hopefully With The Same Great Quality of Service (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22959222)

I expect great things in audio streaming from a company that can't get all of the pictures on even the most meager of its pages to load, and has a typical page load time of minutes for what it is able to show. I'm guessing they'll be strong proponent of glitch techno music.

Piracy's Not to Blame (3, Insightful)

Doomstalk (629173) | more than 6 years ago | (#22959318)

I don't know about anyone else, but I don't think piracy is to blame. Its the music industry's inexplicable urge to present themselves as greedy, morally bankrupt fat cats who don't care about the artists, or anyone other than themselves really. I just can't bring myself to financially support those assholes, so I don't buy music.

Re:Piracy's Not to Blame (2, Informative)

Trogre (513942) | more than 6 years ago | (#22960528)

There is still plenty of music you can buy without supporting those fat cats.

Of course there's a chance none of it will be your cup of tea.

Just sayin'

Re:Piracy's Not to Blame (1)

zotz (3951) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961484)

Here let me offer up a lame theory... just for fun...

The music industry has primarily sold rebellion and sex, drugs, and rock and roll. They have sold defiance of authority.

So they tried to mold their target audience into rebellious lifestyles.

Let's just pretend their "plans" worked.

Oops. Unintended problem.

"OK, kids, we know we told you not to respect laws, but there is one exception. Copyright laws. You need to respect those. Mmk, thx, now go out and steal something and hock it and come buy some music. it's good for you."

all the best,

drew

Screw that. (4, Interesting)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 6 years ago | (#22959348)

In the face of widespread, escalating online piracy, music sales dropped to $11.5 billion in 2006 from a peak in 1999 of nearly $15 billion."


Cry me a river 'industry'. If there was an objective way to measure the quality of music coming from the big labels, I'm sure it would be would be in the red as well. The only good music I'm hearing is odd little acts going it alone, and mostly by choice.

The new indie is no record. Just free tracks, and an invitation to come to a show. Sadly, even doing this is a incredible money sink. Driving an hour to shows is ridiculously spendy; my drummer lives over one hundred miles away as well! Since we don't play covers, we draw less than your AC/DC/Zepplin/80's/Classic/Rock band. A crap economy, DVDs, PS3s, and other distractions don't help either.

I say, ignore this site - why again would I make someone buy a track, or put any obstacle in the way of more people hearing my music? Since it's a label partnership, the 'names' are going to get pushed, and get preferential placement anyway.

Support your local band [www.theschmoejoes] and buy a t-shirt! It's pretty much the only business model left. :)

Fixed link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22959708)

Here's the local band [theschmoejoes.com] .

Re:Screw that. (1)

Tau Neutrino (76206) | more than 6 years ago | (#22959962)

You must be new to this here intar-web thing here. Your link is broken, and even after I fixed it, I couldn't find no steenkeeng t-shirts. The RIAA's one thing, but you don't have to make it even harder for people to find/support you.

Re:Screw that. (1)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 6 years ago | (#22960128)

I just fired myself. If only there was a group of people that would take care of marketing and promotion for bands, so bands could concentrate on making music, rather than the drudgery of the business side of things. *sigh*

Here they are! The Schmoejoes Shirts! [theschmoejoes.com] Don't forget to come to small town Minnesota and see us - or use the tubes!

youtube.com/theschmoejoes [youtube.com]
myspace.com/theschmoejoes [myspace.com]

(I obviously need the link-makin' practice)

No record? (1)

dontmakemethink (1186169) | more than 6 years ago | (#22960644)

I disagree that indies are not selling albums. Stage-side sales are at least 30% of our touring revenue. The farther you get from home, the more likely folks are to buy your CD, not knowing when you'll be back.

And free tracks doesn't make much sense either. It's pretty easy to make your music available for net stream and make it tricky to keep the MP3 (note I didn't say make it impossible).

What we have done is record shows with just a pair of mics and pass CD's around letting everyone know it's ok to copy and give to others. We act like our own "tapers" (and I happen to be very good at it). It's a good promotional tool and people still buy the studio CD of the same songs.

And you complain about driving one hour to a show? Got three words for you: TRY TOURING CANADA! Last tour we drove 8500mi and played 26 shows in 25 days, that's an average of 340mi per day crammed into a minivan for almost a month. We also made decent money, renewed interest from the venues in those 26 towns, added a few hundred to the facebook group, and each tour we get better media support.

It's completely worth it, but not without an album to sell. No album = no media = nobody knows you're coming. With media support, you can draw and get paid better than cover bands.

I agree, support your local bands, but support the touring ones too! Gas is our biggest expense, and it's not looking to get any cheaper anytime soon...

Re:No record? (2, Insightful)

Omestes (471991) | more than 6 years ago | (#22960800)

And free tracks doesn't make much sense either

I disagree. I know a couple of emerging (and kick ass) bands in the Phoenix area, and I always tell them to have at least one or two free tracks (as in downloadable) so people can put them on their iPods or such. It keeps things fresh between shows (especially if they tour), and reminds them that the band exists as more than an anomalous myspace friend or such. Say you have 5 recorded tracks, that one you give away isn't going to harm you, but will be a nice nod to your fans.

One of the bands I know are releasing a studio CD soon (indie), I told them to release a free track on their page. Free is a good draw, it makes people more willing to buy (social psych 101 there), also it gives the music time to grow on people who are not convinced they want to part with $10-15 bucks for an obscure indie band.

Granted I never say "give it all away for free", I want my friends to succeed, meaning they need profits. And the more albums they sell, the more rounds are on them.

Re:No record? (1)

loganrapp (975327) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961140)

It works for Trent Reznor with Ghosts, does it not?

Last.fm Beat Tom To The Punch (4, Insightful)

Nitroadict (1005509) | more than 6 years ago | (#22959354)

I think this is too little, too late on the part of MySpace. Their site fell out of fad (in favor for Facebook, but Facebook will eventually be a fad too), and was and still has a terrible site design.

Last.Fm will be a tough competitor to face off against, especially if the same "brilliant" minds behind the MySpace site layout try to crack Last.Fm's bread & butter.

Re:Last.fm Beat Tom To The Punch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22959616)

Gah one minute later than you. I feel so slow. Although I like my subject better.

Re:Last.fm Beat Tom To The Punch (1)

illectro (697914) | more than 6 years ago | (#22959876)

And last.fm was beaten to the punch by imeem.com [imeem.com] , and imeem doesn't have that annoying 3 listen limit that last.fm does.

Re:Last.fm Beat Tom To The Punch (1)

Virtual_Raider (52165) | more than 6 years ago | (#22960512)

And last.fm was beaten to the punch by imeem.com [imeem.com] , and imeem doesn't have that annoying 3 listen limit that last.fm does.

Dude, that site is repulsive... it's plagued by those annoying scamvertisements disguised as system windows, "You have one message, click the OK button before time runs out!"

I can't wait for ad-block to be updated to FF3b5 :'(

Re:Last.fm Beat Tom To The Punch (1)

British (51765) | more than 6 years ago | (#22959928)

Have you tried Last.fm's music player? That was quite possibly the absolute worst application ever devised.

Myspace has one important asset to this: Eyes. Teen eyes.

Re:Last.fm Beat Tom To The Punch (1)

leoofborg (803260) | more than 6 years ago | (#22960370)

Funny. Seeing as I just nuked my MyS account, and pretty much have abandoned Facebook due to all the beacon shizzle this is very apropo.

Pretty much MyS and FB have munged into what I call 'Sleaze API'.. I was getting tired of the constant deluge of 'Status' 'Bulletin' and of course Flash. Honestly I can't tell MyS from FB now.

Flash. The animated gif / midi sound of this age. If there's one thing that's making MyS and FB clunky, there it is.

I'm pretty much at the point where I don't want to 'interact' with FB / MyS or any other 'Spam push' site or technology.

Reestarded (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22959364)

A group of outmoded companies struggling to keep their business going teams up with the company who can't get their main site running in anything approaching a professional manner. Two great tastes that taste great together this is not.

Piracy caused billions in damage? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22959380)

The statement in the article seeks sympathy for an industry that needs none. Read enough books about the business aspects of record deals and it's clear Major Labels are scumbags.

  When the industry thinks of the billions lost do they even take into account the amount of independent artists that are booming right now? Their website says "RIAA members create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 90% of all legitimate sound recordings produced and sold in the United States" which is pure malarkey. Independents have a bigger slice of the pie and this also doesn't take into account many international artists. These self-produced, sometimes even self distributed, artists gain respect all around because they know some jerk with a ponytail didn't tamper with the creative talent that makes good bands, amazing. This is the age where you can spend a couple thousands of dollars or less, in recording equipment, to produce a semi-professional album. Kids don't need to beg Record companies to back them financially for studio recording sessions, they do it themselves, drop $900 to manufacture 1000 professional CDs, and sell em for $8-$10.

Maybe the fact that MP3's are cheaper than CD's period? iTunes has destroyed the album, people only spend $3 for 3 songs instead of $13 for the album. Maybe they'd buy the whole album if many mainstreams bands sucked at creating strong albums. No one wants to pay $17 for a brand new CD anymore because the scam has gone on far too long, everyone knows better, produce a bad album iTunes enforces it and makes you pay.

I'm sure there's a lot of discrepancy in those numbers because of the declining Used CD market as well.

More money is thrown around nowadays but the music market is complicated compared to yesterday. RIAA is just getting hammered because people are spending their money elsewhere and many artists can survive without standing under the RIAA umbrella.

INTERESTING FACTS:
If you are not an artist that pays royalties to the RIAA your money from records sold is not counted in this figure AND if you do not join the RIAA you are incapable of obtaining a Gold or Platinum record, true story.

-AKA

Whoever came up with that idea... (3, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 6 years ago | (#22959406)

...deserves his MBA revoked. Cut the middlemen. Cut DRM. Team up with a bunch of garage bands, make them famous. They have the popularity to do that, which is precisely what all those unseen talents need...

3 of the 4 major music labels? Make your own!

And give us some GOOD music, ferchrissake!

In the face of piracy? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22959474)

"In the face of widespread, escalating online piracy, music sales dropped to $11.5 billion in 2006 from a peak in 1999 of nearly $15 billion."

Misleading at best. Why are we supposed to automatically assume that piracy is the sole cause of the flatlining record industry profits? Digital distribution methods have increased exponentially, and they offer music at a far greater convenience and far cheaper price than physical media. Perhaps the mass exodus to cheaper digital downloads -- rather than ponying up 20 and 30 dollars for CDs -- has something to do with it? Maybe?

EULA? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22959486)

"It's the first service that offers a full catalog of music to be streamed for free, with full community features, to be shared with all of your friends."

No offense but the Music industry has been so far behind the eight ball this is a load of bs.

www.soundclick.com already did it.

What concerns me the most is this:
""They have a huge community that wants to talk, share and learn about music."

They want to tap into all the other artists on myspace music. Effectively tapping the same market as soundclick and others do. But what the hell will the end user license look like for a musician submitting their music on this website. "All your rights to your music you have just signed away by uploading your song to our distribution website".. effectively.. this will stop their website from being of any use other than serving up all the old hits we love and all the new stuff we hate.

Re:EULA? (1)

illectro (697914) | more than 6 years ago | (#22959866)

Yeah I think myspace is fixated on major label music, but even then it puts them in third place behind imeem and last.fm.

I have a solution! (1)

johosaphats (1082929) | more than 6 years ago | (#22959526)

Maybe the RIAA should sue Exxon [cnn.com] ...I bet they're stealing money from the people who would otherwise be buying music!

Consumers are escaping traditional boundries (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22959560)

Music sales administered by the litigious middlemen and self proclaimed gatekeepers of music dropped to $11.5 billion.

If you include sales from independent entities distributing by themselves for themselves (i.e. ignore the vacuous wailing of sidestepped middlemen) overall music sales where actually up 14%

Real figures would be nice (2, Insightful)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22959572)

I'd love to know how much of the drop in sales is due to "escalating on-line piracy", and how much is due to the fact that people no longer have to accept a bunch of crap being shoved down their throats so they can get the one or two songs on a CD that are worth listening to. If I like even three songs, it's a pretty safe bet that I'll be forking out the cash. One or two songs? Not so much.

Wouldn't it be interesting to have every song on a particular CD available on a site like this, then track how much money each had made after a year, or how many times it had been downloaded. There'd certainly be some tunes that caught on slowly and eventually overtook the initial hit tune. "Ball and a Biscuit" off the same White Stripes CD as "Seven Nation Army" would be an example in my particular case. But those are the exception. Finally, we'd finally get a chance to see objective proof of just how much filler there is on your basic $20 CD.

or maybe (1)

shadowkiller137 (1169097) | more than 6 years ago | (#22959610)

RIAASpace

Re:or maybe (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 6 years ago | (#22959972)

Nah, it would be a little more subtle...

RySpace... and they would say it stands for "Record Your Space" or something...

Some Eeerie Similarity With imeem.com (3, Insightful)

illectro (697914) | more than 6 years ago | (#22959710)

So, until myspace music launches the biggest web2.0 music site will be imeem.com [imeem.com] and you only have to look at their site to get a feeling of deja vu. imeem has been operating a 'youtube for music' for a few years now, needless to say this was very popular and last year they were sued by a record label and everyone was sad and predicted the end for imeem. But them imeem came out of the legal proceedings with a deal that let them stream music on their site in exchange for revenue sharing with the label.

So now you have imeem as this monster service where you can essentially listen to any tune ever recorded, and it's all paid for by advertising.

Similarly, myspace has been in litigation with the record labels and has taken a page from the imeem playbook, copying the deal making, the business model and everything else. Only this isn't some tiny startup, this is Fox Interactive with it's massive pockets.

I really hope myspace loses this time.

Re:Some Eeerie Similarity With imeem.com (1)

Skreems (598317) | more than 6 years ago | (#22960324)

So now you have imeem as this monster service where you can essentially listen to any tune ever recorded

I tried it out on your recommendation, and I'm not impressed. I've been meaning to buy Nick Cave's album "Henry's Dream", so I searched for tracks. Only 3, and none of them the well known songs of the album.

I hope to god it's set up and coded better... (1)

DaveCBio (659840) | more than 6 years ago | (#22959878)

than mypsace. That place is an abortion of epic proportions. The only times I even go there is to check out some band that has sample tunes up on the site. Even that's hit and miss with their crappy and inconsistent streaming and useless player.

As good as an idea as this is.. (1)

Zekasu (1059298) | more than 6 years ago | (#22959948)

... I'm fairly certain MySpace's targeted age group (teenagers and adolescents) already know about Lemonwire and are learning fairly quickly about toUrrent.

(Note: Names of certain programs have been changed in order to protect their identities.)

On a latter note, will downloading music require age verification, or will it just bee censored like the CDs at Walmart are?

Re:As good as an idea as this is.. (1)

wish bot (265150) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961004)

Lemonstring? bitRent?

What about uploading our own tracks? (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 6 years ago | (#22959998)

Maybe we don't want to be consumers. Maybe we want to upload our own tracks and not deal with Myspaces "music" site. Maybe Myspace should just let users sell their own tracks and stop kissing the music cartels asses.

Re:What about uploading our own tracks? (1)

dontmakemethink (1186169) | more than 6 years ago | (#22960400)

Actually, I gotta give kudos to MySpace. The big labels have billions invested in their talent, and they needed the means to integrate into the internet better. MySpace is cashing in on that. They'll be the only ones left smiling in the end, but it's still a good move for them.

MySpace and Big Labels - Great Idea! (1)

myspace-cn (1094627) | more than 6 years ago | (#22960096)

I think it's a good idea.

But they should ALSO make CD's and DVD's on the shelves lower priced.

Remember the Bush administration and the economy thieves have made the dollar worth 70 cents. It's probably less after we figure out what is going on with the corrupt federal reserve and how much they have been printing. Sort of an invisible divide by two on your retirement accounts.

They should also build more venues. If outdoors then lot's of shade. The last warped tour was too fucking hot, to the point of heatstroke--not fun like it could have been. I could be wrong but it seems like the sun is brighter and hotter now and with the ozone there's less protection from it. And if they build indoors clubs make them all ages venues! Come on what the fuck?!

As gas and everything starts going up, people are not going to want to drive 100 miles to see a show. And if people stop going to shows the bands are not going to make money, and if they don't make money there will be no music. If there's more venues there would be less distance. And lets face it, the crap this administration has done to our country makes us want to "get away" if anything just to relax.

Lot's of parks could do event's right now and already have shade trees, if the RIAA want's to lobby something they should lobby the stupid red tape it takes to hold public events. The dual side of this is they could also be used to hold political events, social causes and bypass the fascist media--who let's face it is driving up the cost of advertising and ruining the 4th estate.

I don't look forward to HDTV. Thousands of dollars for a bunch of new black boxes I don't need. I am fine with SD, and widescreen. Even the video cameras cost too much. It all COSTS too much! Look at Blueray, why do the disks cost so damn much. It's plastic just like DVD's, I just got all the stuff I need for DVD's now you want to change it to some new crap that costs too much.

Okay the quality of HD -- granted. But that's fuckin luxury man. Like buying a Jaguar or a McMansion (large fucking house.)

As far as piracy goes, there's lot's of reasons for it. It doesn't mean that one reason is true.
It doesn't mean it's funding terrorism. The heroin is doing that..eh liars! The only terrorism I seen lately is the Bush administration terrorizing the constitution, the economy and the right to seek happiness.

I am glad the Big Labels and MySpace teamed up. It's all the way around, for the small band that is a rising star, the big labels have the muscle to put the quality, props, and production crew into their videos and mixing. For the small guy really the only place to go was apple last fm or magnatune. Most small bands only website IS MySpace anyway! The one thing that MySpace should do that would greatly enhance the experience is get rid of all those stupid ass sections and blocks and fields and have one giant block you paste plain fucking html or xhtml code into. that way you don't need to buy a freaking book to understand how the fuck they use CSS. Frame the site and ban those that delete the frame. Pretty simple. That's not going to change though. It's crazy what some myspace accounts have to do to get a half ass good looking site. look at centurymedia for an example of a well thought out way to deal with dogcrap to begin with.

People that buy music don't want to see dogcrap. They want flash, they want video, they want free mp3's. You got to give to get.

But all of this will never end piracy for those that don't have money to begin with and want something they can't get. They will steal the CD if they have to. (Look at all my missing cd's!!! Fucking little thieves.)

Market balancing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22960226)

For the music industry, the deal is partly born of desperation. In the face of widespread, escalating online piracy, music sales dropped to $11.5 billion in 2006 from a peak in 1999 of nearly $15 billion."
I have a feeling that the "music industry" doesn't really need that many billions of dollars to operate. Surely technology has dropped the actual cost of production and distribution of music to a fraction of what it was a decade ago. Perhaps the drop in sales is just normal market balancing as when the cost of an item exceeds the cost of manufacture.

Like a Resse's peanut butter cup of suck! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22960242)

The web site that will probably be the downfall of western civilization meets the number one reason western civilization has it coming.

Chocolate and peanut butter it isn't.

Elvis Presley is dead, please let him rot (2, Interesting)

dontmakemethink (1186169) | more than 6 years ago | (#22960384)

This is hardly progress. This is just another attempt to keep alive one of the most archaic and outdated marketing models still in widespread use. They say "before anyone did anything, Elvis Presley did everything" but in reality his unprecidented success screwed everything. Music marketeers have been blindly flogging the same horse ever since, despite the endless painfully obvious indicators that a paradigm shift is imperative to their survival.

The fundamental flaw in the Elvis marketing model is that the product is not the music, it's the idols. To the labels, the artists aren't considered the purveyors of the music, they're just the packaging. They create idolization of the artist among consumers and then cash in on it. Music is only barely relevant to the process. Look at Paris Hilton... what does she do again?

That's why there are so few major labels. It's not a matter of signing the right talent, it's an incredibly cut-throat competition to manufacture the most influential icons. Making cars is far more expensive and complicated, yet there are 10 international auto makers for every major music label.

But now consumers can access anyone's music just as freely as the radio spewing out any big label's next wannabe hit. So traditional mass media is losing its dominance over the preferences of consumers to the internet, which by definition cannot be bought or controled. As a result, idols have less influence these days, and are becoming increasingly expensive to create.

So what's the next step? If I knew I sure wouldn't post it to a public forum! But what I will say is that the next successful music marketing model will not generate its profits from selling "music units", be they albums, songs, subscriptions, etc.

As a touring musician, live/studio engineer, and producer, I can assure you that there is a powerful motivational force between musical performers and their audiences that has never been engaged for profit to even a fraction of its potential. A bar owner paying a band 10% of sales to pack his bar and sell $12k in booze in one night makes much more sense than a label spending $5M on promotions hoping it holds a candle to the other label's $5M promotions.

But as long as labels treat their talent like packaging, they will continue to falter with repeated "innovations" on the same old game. Consumers have free access to all the content they could ever desire. Fancy packaging simply isn't enough to sell ice to eskimos.

Have you no faith? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22960534)

With the site design prowess of MySpace and the customer care and business ethics of the RIAA, how can they fail?

Screw Myspace and the RIAA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22960652)

The future of music is SellaBand (http://sellaband.com/ [sellaband.com] ) and others like them. DRM free music and for $10 I get a CD plus a piece of the action!

MySpace - Murdoch (1)

peas_n_carrots (1025360) | more than 6 years ago | (#22960992)

The title should actually read:
"News Corp Teams With Record Companies To Create Music Site"

After all, MySpace is a corporate sellout owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch. No surprise that the labels want to make a deal with him.

Little too late (1)

BountyX (1227176) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961220)

sounds exactly like imeem.com

For the music industry, (1)

meskk (471044) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961330)

"the deal is partly born of desperation."

The music business has always been a desperate business; if a music artist can't make it to the top for some time, need that 9 to 5 no matter what. As for the big 5, the days of recorded media sales are over. Even though these companies' marketing structures have been revamped by removing the old goats with younger-- open-minded staff, the same caketard execs and board are still at the helm-- ensuing them (young marketing staff) the task of creating any "desperate" form of selling crap.

"music sales dropped to $11.5 billion in 2006 from a peak in 1999 of nearly $15 billion."

Again, the music industry (at the commercial level), is a desperate industry. With the above quote, one can easily gather the level of rationale these jokers portray. If they were kicking that shit to me, I'd smack them on the back of the head and show them a gas station price sign, a picture of Britney Spears just for shits and giggles, and make them watch 5 minutes of CNBC (so the word recession can sink in).

 

Fallacious statement (1)

oDDmON oUT (231200) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961342)

"In the face of widespread, escalating online piracy,..."

Why is the same hokum being gussied up and trotted out yet [jhunewsletter.com] again [cnet.com] to cover up the fact that the major labels all, each and every swingin' dick one of them, missed the boat on the internet business model and now are scrambling to save their wrinkled white asses from a just deserved demise?
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