More free music - MySpace Music arrives late to the party
Last.fm was king of online music for many years, wearing its crown at a jaunty angle and adored by millions. Then Spotify rolled up to attempt world domination through new territories and new platforms. And now MySpace and gone and... well, nothing much, really. It's been the preserve of unsigned bands for several years but since Facebook went public at the end of 2006, the site has become increasingly unpopular in this country. That's all about to change, according to them at least, with the launch of MySpace Music in the UK.
It's all going on, with free streaming of entire back catalogues of artists on both major and independent labels, as well as offering DRM-free MP3 downloads in association with iTunes. How much music are we talking about? According to MySpace, millions of tracks and tens of thousands of music videos. For free. For you. You lucky blighters. Playlists can be created and content shared by users creating an account, but otherwise music can be streamed for free.
Unlike Spotify, MySpace Music is browser based and there are no audio commercials - the only advertising you'll be bombarded by is on-screen. That means no chance of getting the raging horn when you hear Roberta from Spotify, but on the plus side you won't hear all the monosyllabic twats who pester Spotify's feedback hotline day and night.
It's an attempt to rebrand MySpace as a place for sharing entertainment, distancing itself from the broad (and far more popular) church it was previously. Will MySpace Music take off? It's been available in America for the past 15 months, but then Spotify hasn't launched in the US yet. Not that Spotify has necessarily ingrained itself on the mainstream psyche of the UK, but how many people will be keen to fall back in love with a service they may have abandoned long ago? Is MySpace the talk of the party once more, or the fat girl crying on the stairs?