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September 3, 2006 4:30 PM   Subscribe

MySpace has announced that it intends to sell the music of nearly 3 million unsigned bands who use the service as an alternative to iTunes. If nothing else, at least Metafilter should see an end to these sorts of links.
posted by Second Account For Making Jokey Comments (54 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
What? How would we see an end to that? It seems like we would see even more links, although people might link to their myspace pages from mefi music.
posted by delmoi at 4:43 PM on September 3, 2006


This is really dumb. As a general rule, people don't want to pay for music from unknowns. It'd be like making all of youtube pay-only -- would it have ever taken off if every silly camcorder video was being sold instead of given away freely?
posted by mathowie at 4:51 PM on September 3, 2006



Thanks for reviving the Pretty Flowers post.
posted by bukharin at 4:53 PM on September 3, 2006


This post seems to imply that MySpace intends to sell the music without the permission of the bands and for their own profit, which AFAIK their EULA allows, but the articles doesn't indicate that that's what they're doing here.
posted by spiderwire at 4:55 PM on September 3, 2006


*article
posted by spiderwire at 4:56 PM on September 3, 2006


"It'd be like making all of youtube pay-only"

Oh please oh please oh please.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:56 PM on September 3, 2006


It sounds like they're just giving bands the option of charging for downloads, in addition to the stream-for-free and download-for-free options that already exist.
posted by aaronetc at 5:05 PM on September 3, 2006


The way I read it, bands would be able to sell their music via download, bypassing record companies and record stores.

So, if, for example, I knew of a band whose record i couldnt find in stores, and couldn't find on iTunes was smart enough to put all their songs on MySpace, i could pay for it there.

Like, for example Exodus's excellent cover of "Free For All" which was only available as a b-side

or, one would imagine, live concerts, etc.

for those of us who aren't snobs about MP3s, record stores, or vinyl, it's just another way to get the music, i think this is a breakthrough.
posted by tsarfan at 5:09 PM on September 3, 2006


I think it's a great idea for bands to get even more exposure and new listeners.
posted by bluehermit at 5:18 PM on September 3, 2006


All those lank haired losers are going to get raped, anally.

Ha
Ha
posted by fire&wings at 5:18 PM on September 3, 2006


was smart enough to put all their songs on MySpace, i could pay for it there.

I mucked about with Myspace once. It seemed, if nothing else, an interesting place to host my music, in a sort of social* environment. Then I found they only let you host something like four songs, and flushed that idea right where it belongs. Then music.metafilter appeared, and I was happy again.

* "sort of social" as in The Breakfast Club. "So it's sorta social. Demented and sad, but social."
posted by Jimbob at 5:20 PM on September 3, 2006


The rise of something like this seems inevitable right now - though I don't think myspace will do it right, it will certainly catalyse the market for buying unsigned/indepednant/amateur music.

I think there are a lot of people who would be very happy to pay a small fee (set by the band, or donation) to get music by a unsigned artist they enjoy, long-tail and otherwise. Something like Cafepress-meets-YouTube-for-music would get very big very quick if done right.
posted by MetaMonkey at 5:47 PM on September 3, 2006


Didn't mp3.com try to do this almost a decade ago? And didn't it tank royally? And I'm not talking about the mp3.com that's there now. I don't know what the hell that is, but what existed there back in the late 90s was beautiful, and it was destroyed.
posted by ZachsMind at 5:50 PM on September 3, 2006


It'd be like making all of youtube pay-only -- would it have ever taken off if every silly camcorder video was being sold instead of given away freely?

I don't think YouTube is strictly an apt comparison, because its largely for quirky things and copyright violation. If it were short films and comedy (or whatever) it would make perfect sense to offer a streaming low-res version free, but a pay-per-MB service to download the video. A winning pay-for-music model would be basically the same as AllOfMp3, but with a user set profit percentage like CafePress, and free streaming or low bitrate downloads and a lot of social whathaveyou.

Didn't mp3.com try to do this almost a decade ago?

I'm convinced the time is right, right about now. There are far more people connected, with far higher bandwidth, the costs of such a business of massively reduced now, and theres an established market for paying for music online, combined with widespread dissatisfaction with the music business, online and offline.
posted by MetaMonkey at 5:56 PM on September 3, 2006


I almost like the idea. There are plenty of unsigned bands (and bands who only release their music on one-sided purple and yellow marbled 180gsm virgin 10" vinyl housed in a silk-screened goatskin pouch in a limited edition of 42) that I'd gladly punt a couple of quid to in return for MP3s.

Giving money to Mr. Murdoch puts me off a wee bit, though.
posted by jack_mo at 5:56 PM on September 3, 2006


Didn't mp3.com try to do this almost a decade ago?

Aah, but the design, functionality and user friendliness of mp3.com SUCKED royally. Now that Myspace is doing it, however. . .
posted by Jimbob at 6:05 PM on September 3, 2006


Oh! Like myspace.com is actually functional and user friendly? Since when??
posted by ZachsMind at 6:07 PM on September 3, 2006


That mushroom thread makes me unspeakably sad nowadays.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:09 PM on September 3, 2006


*Subtly adjusts ZachsMind's sarcasm detector knob*
posted by Jimbob at 6:16 PM on September 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


*blinks*

Mister Rogers never cared about children!
posted by ZachsMind at 6:20 PM on September 3, 2006


posted by jack_mo: Giving money to Mr. Murdoch puts me off a wee bit, though.

I know, I know. That's the creepy thing about it. But hey, I bet we could go and buy some Pretty Flowers songs there! Maybe they'll start selling portobello mushrooms, too!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:21 PM on September 3, 2006


As much as people want to "discover" new bands and be the first to listen to something, people want to listen to what everybody else's listening to. They will never pay for the Pretty Flowers because there are 100s of better bands out there, for free.

Unsigned artists can't give their music away.
posted by yeti at 6:37 PM on September 3, 2006


Oh dear God no!!! Pretty Flowers have gone on indefinite hiatus! Whatever shall we do?

I think the answer is; go on continuing not to give a shit about them.
posted by Effigy2000 at 6:46 PM on September 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


And so another arrogant flash in the pan internet entity cuts it's nose to spite it's face. I give this a couple of months before they abandon it for the terrible idea that it is.
posted by Skygazer at 6:52 PM on September 3, 2006


Didn't mp3.com try to do this almost a decade ago?

that's not what did them in ... what did them in was that thing where they had mp3s of popular acts that you could listen to on your computer if you could verify you owned the cd ... the resultant lawsuits pretty much did them in, although they survived for awhile after
posted by pyramid termite at 6:53 PM on September 3, 2006


Sports and games soon will join the music, comedy, film and blog gathering places that are a springboard for less overt, viral advertising. They will be powered by Fox's branded entertainment, sports and news assets also created for the core demographic the company calls "Generation Fox."

"If you start creating social categories, and they are limitless," Levinsohn said. "Then social networking becomes a great resource."

posted by stammer at 6:56 PM on September 3, 2006


Alright, maybe not so much a flash in the pan, but they still suck for doing this.
posted by Skygazer at 7:03 PM on September 3, 2006


Three million bands?

Seriously? That's just too many bands.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:12 PM on September 3, 2006


The Pretty Flowers thread should be required reading for all new members.

1) It acts as a great warning to people who would try to abuse the system.
2) There's five dollars worth of wacky hijinx in that thread alone.
posted by bpm140 at 7:17 PM on September 3, 2006


Yeah, but there's also an animated chicken fucking giff.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:24 PM on September 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


posted by yeti: Unsigned artists can't give their music away.

True, perhaps. But lots of signed artists can't sell their music away, either. The music business stinks, any way you look at it.

They will never pay for the Pretty Flowers because there are 100s of better bands out there

Noooo, REALLY? C'mon, better than the Flowers? No way! ;-)

Oh, BTW, I saw ol' Rusty selling portobello mushrooms at Dean and Deluca the other day.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:31 PM on September 3, 2006


The RIAA bastards had a hand in the demise of mp3.com. And didn't mp3.com start asking for all kinds of "registration" (we're gonna sell your SOUL to any advertiser that gives us $$ for it..muahahaha!) information towards the end as well?
posted by drstein at 7:33 PM on September 3, 2006


I hear ya flapjax. Stavros has it right: too many bands and not enough indefinite hiatuses.
posted by yeti at 7:57 PM on September 3, 2006


I do not want to see the end of links like that Pretty Flowers one. I want to see more like that.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 8:02 PM on September 3, 2006


Chick guitarist? Uhh... no thanks.


posted by damn dirty ape at 8:11 PM on September 3, 2006


As long as bands still have the option to put up songs that are free to download (without having to pay a "distribution fee" to myspace), I'm all for it. It's unclear if that's the way it'll be, though.
posted by needs more cowbell at 8:38 PM on September 3, 2006


Unsigned artists can't give their music away.

Well, the target here isn't the ones who "can't give their music away". It's the ones who can sell their music but can't get signed. It's a small group of artists but it's clearly greater than zero. Look at Tapes n Tapes, who had to self-release their own album.
posted by smackfu at 8:44 PM on September 3, 2006


What does this mean for Spiralfrog.com? Is this to their advantage or not. Myspace has ruined and warped alot of teen's minds but it looks like it has the clout to create some awesome startups since so many people use it and it has tons of funding from News Corp.

dunno...
posted by sawthesign at 9:28 PM on September 3, 2006


OMG, the pretty flowers post is classic.
posted by photoslob at 9:37 PM on September 3, 2006


Uh...excuse me folks, but there are plenty of good indie artists whose music is being purchased by fans.

It sounds like you're saying that if a band isn't signed their music is crap. Yet if they were signed, you'd say that their music is crap because they've sold out to the establishment. Sounds like a catch-22 to me.

You might notice that the major labels these days seem fixated on promoting folks for notoriety rather than talent. Hence we have people like Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson and dudes with bullet holes in them singing about bitches and ho's. Jeezus. Now THAT's truly shit to be avoided.

I know that I've bought plenty of indie CD's at concerts or downloaded stuff on the web at audio lunchbox etc. So myspace is just one more avenue for artists to make their music available to their fans. Given myspace is one of the most heavily trafficked sites around, it makes pretty good sense to me for artists to have some downloads available right there on their band web page. That doesn't preclude them from using itunes or some other service too.

If you don't like myspace then don't use it. Plenty of other people will and they aren't deterred my somebody else's holier-than-thou attitude.

Oh BTW...I'm sure U2, Nirvana and a million other bands were indie bands at one point selling their CD's at concerts.

Finally, damn dirty ape, you sound like an idiot. There are plenty of fine musicians who can play guitar -- yes even lead guitar -- as well as a man. I know because I've seen them. You are clueless, dude, utterly clueless.
posted by bim at 9:41 PM on September 3, 2006


typo --

There are plenty of fine female musicians who can play guitar...


One more thing, there's a reason why concert orchestras hold "blind" auditions for classical musicians. It's to avoid prejudice as we've seen from folks like Mr. Ape.
posted by bim at 9:45 PM on September 3, 2006


I've actually found a number of bands that I think are interesting on MySpace. Sometimes they let you download their songs for free, sometimes not. If this gives an option to the people who aren't willing to give their songs away for free to charge a buck instead, then that's all good as far as I'm concerned. Not likely to change the world or anything though. There's a line in the article about allowing sales from "fan" pages, and that seems like it could open the door to all kinds of problems.

Regarding MP3.com: they actually burned you a CD of the songs you bought, and mailed it to you with a laser printed cover. Not exactly the same thing, but still the 90s equivalent I guess. But yeah, it was the "jukebox in the sky" thing and the resulting avalanche of lawsuits that did them in.
posted by spilon at 10:06 PM on September 3, 2006


I hate MySpace, but I think this is a great idea. What they have, that MP3.com never did, is community. All of those teeny tiny bands have a ton of "friends"; if a fraction of those buy some tracks, it works out for everyone. Even Rupert Murdoch.
posted by mkultra at 10:26 PM on September 3, 2006


This'll make my job of wrestling through bands with Myspace bullshit instead of real websites even more painful.
Though I have to say, it's a good idea. It'd be handy to be able to buy shit right at that Myspace page, were I selling it.
But Christ will this be a pain in the ass, trying to decide whether a lack of a promo pack means that I should pony up the three dollars to find out that I'm being pitched another goddamned emo band, versus missing a great show because the band can't be assed to get a coherent web presence.
posted by klangklangston at 11:14 PM on September 3, 2006


THREE MILLION BANDS? Kind of makes me sad about all the garbage that pollutes the Top 40, when statistically there are hundreds, if not thousands of gems in that slush pile.
posted by chef_boyardee at 11:35 PM on September 3, 2006


Kind of makes me sad about all the garbage that pollutes the Top 40, when statistically there are hundreds, if not thousands of gems in that slush pile.

Exactly. The major labels today are proof that "shit floats." Ugh.
posted by bim at 5:34 AM on September 4, 2006


You can find some excellent indie music on CDbaby too. Their confirmation emails alone (if you buy something) are worth the price you pay. They're hilarious. :)
posted by bim at 5:41 AM on September 4, 2006


God damn. How did I miss that Pretty Flowers FPP? Best of all time. A+++ WOULD DEFINATELY BUY AGAIN.
posted by Hypnic jerk at 7:45 AM on September 4, 2006


One thing mp3.com did not have was this huge database of active social connections. Local bands always shout out their myspace address at their shows these days. I think MySpace has a much better chance of succeeding with this than mp3.com did.
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:51 AM on September 4, 2006


Myspace is a hugley successful phenomenon and they know what they are doing. In fact I had to laugh because walking out of a bookstore yesterday saw some book called "effective Myspace layouts" or something like that.
LOL

Ive fallen in love with a couple of indie tracks by MYspace artists, and since set 2 undownloadable, I jacked them into my
Mp3 players analog in jack. : ) !

I love Myspace's cheesy, clunky, interface.

I hate Itunes, and RealPlayer , and other apps that
control my puter more than I asked for. ! Besides Mac users are pampered sissies remember? ; )

Ironic that Murdoch's product is actually a good example of free expression as much as anything on the net. How did that happen?

and agreed :
"Three million bands?

Seriously? That's just too many bands.
"


LOL



: )
posted by celerystick at 7:55 AM on September 4, 2006


damn. can we reopen the pretty flowers thread so i can say all your bassists are belong to us?
posted by snofoam at 9:17 AM on September 4, 2006


It's all about Sturgeon's Law. 2,999,900 of those bands will suck and never make a dime. Eventually, one of the 100 good ones will figure out how to make a living by some combination of giving it away and charging for it, and Murdoch will own the music industry for a while.
posted by fuzz at 10:04 AM on September 4, 2006


I think you mean 2700000.

Perhaps they need a ratings system - perhaps based on cloud tags.
posted by Sparx at 2:56 PM on September 4, 2006


I think you mean 2700000

This is MySpace we're talking about here. I was being optimistic.
posted by fuzz at 3:54 PM on September 4, 2006


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