Myspace Music streams 1bn+ tracks in 1st week
MySpace Music has streamed more than 1bn tracks since its launch just over a week ago, according to a report in TechCrunch. A MySpace statement claims that the music service, which went live in the US on September 25, reached the figure “only a few days after launching”. With a global registered user base of 130 million this equates to roughly 10 track streams per registered user.
“We’re extremely pleased with the launch of MySpace Music – clearly our users around the world are engaged and excited about the new music experience on MySpace,” a representative from MySpace stated yesterday. “We can confirm that we hit a milestone of one billion music streams…however, because this number may be inflated by the high profile launch and accompanying promotional push, we will be looking to our metrics on engagement and unique users, which will tell a much richer story on how positively the community is responding to the new major music experience.”
The business models offered by MySpace Music include free ad-supported track streams, paid downloads, as well as band merchandise (albeit the band merchandise area has not been launched yet). The much-touted service, which is yet to launch outside the US, rolled out with backing from all 4 of the major labels and a deal with indie distributer The Orchard.
However, the service has so far failed to agree terms with the global independent music body, Merlin, which has been arguing that MySpace Music is treating independent labels like “second-class citizens”. Critics of MySpace Music claim that its major-label bias is a departure from the social network’s roll as a hub for new and unsigned music.
Should major labels be making a profit from MySpace on the back of independent music? I’m sure some form of deal can be agreed between Myspace Music, the 4 majors and independent labels (which make up over 28% of global music sales). It would clearly be detrimental for Myspace Music in the long-term not to come to some form of agreement with Merlin.
Furthermore, how much in royalties does 1bn track streams really equate to? On social music site Last.Fm, 20,000 streams represents about £1 for the label/artist. Revenue-wise this means, if itMySpace ar eoperating ona similar basis, 1 billion streams would equate to just £50,000 to the content owners. Not much when you think about the 1 billion free music streams music fans have enjoyed. It works out to about £0.00005 per stream.
What does 1bn Myspace Music track streams signify in terms of competition to iTunes al-la carte sales and the Last.Fm jukebox? One billion streams certainly sounds like a lot but what is the conversion rate to actual track purchases?
Once this question is known a much betetr analysis can be given. It would be great to have actual volume figures from Last.FM’s streaming model in order to put the Myspace Music launch into better context.
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