September 5, 2006, 12:00 AM

MySpace gets into the online music sales business

MySpace will offer 3 million independent musicians the chance to build online storefronts and sell their music on MySpace.com. Digital music will help MySpace.com evaluate other web retail opportunities, the company says.

 

Social networking site MySpace.com is moving into web retailing and the merchandise is digital music.

Under a new arrangement with SNOCAP, a digital music services provider and licensing company, MySpace will offer independent musicians the chance to build online storefronts and sell their music to other community members on MySpace.com.

The SNOCAP services will enable artists and labels with registered content to set pricing, create stores and sell their music in an MP3 format. "MySpace has become one of the largest promotional tools for artists and labels to distribute their music to fans," says MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe. "By introducing a powerful commercial tool set into the industry, we expect to see artists translate their community reach into sales, ultimately allowing more bands to make a living and connect with fans."

MySpace and SNOCAP, which also provides digital music technology and services to companies such as Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, SONY BMG Music Entertainment, EMI and others, will collect an undisclosed percentage of each transaction. MySpace, a leading social networking site with more than 90 million member profiles, also sees the digital music business as a means to evaluate other web retailing opportunities. “We are talking about web retailing and e-commerce all the time and it is definitely on the horizon,” says a MySpace spokeswoman.

To sell music on MySpace.com, artists will upload their songs to a digital music database maintained by SNOCAP, which will then help the artist license and distribute the content. The MySpace digital music store is being piloted now with a full program expected to be rolled out by the end of the year. "Up until now bands faced the challenges of content availability, technology and distribution," says MySpace president Tom Anderson. "This music service enables artists and labels to oversee their own commercial and distribution platforms while lowering the barriers for all bands to sell music directly to their fans in a way that`s easy and totally legal."

 

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