Monday, April 27, 2009

MySpace is MTV 2.0

Hmmm... to listen to music. When I was a child, that meant an LP or a tape. Then it moved to CDs. Then to digital downloads and iPods. Where is this going next? Free streaming! Virtually all music is already online as videos, and even more is coming with deals the labels are making with YouTube and Hulu. In essence, music has become advertising supported.

It is easier to look up and play a song on fi.zy or Songza or to set up a playlist on Project Playlist than to look inside a music collection with iTunes or Windows Media Player. The web interfaces are more straightforward and you don't have to think about whether or not you have already paid for a song in order to play it. It is only a matter of time before 3G/4G phones stream music reliably, which will be much more convenient than syncing an iPod/iPhone.

Many pundits are saying that MySpace is dying and that Owen Van Natta can't turn it around. I agree that Facebook has far exceeded MySpace in uniques. But MySpace has longer engagement numbers. Why is this? You can not browse MySpace without running into music. And the artists are all crosslinked, linking to their influeces and posting on each other's walls. YouTube and Hulu are super boring compared to this. So MySpace started as a musician site, veered around for a while, now has streaming music, apps, quizzes, cross-linked artists, etc. It is the #1 music site that a lot of people go to when they hear of a new band.

Music is highly targetable - if you listen to Depeche Mode, that says a lot more than where you live or how old you are. MySpace has a solid shot to becoming the next media distribution portal, the next radio, the next MTV.

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