Digital Music

MySpace Experiments With Ad Supported Music As Model Expands

MySpace will be testing the ad supported music waters this March with punk band Pennywise. Fans will be able to go to the MySpace profile of Textango, an mobile indie music distributor, and after adding them as a friend be able to download the entire album for free.

Pennywise normally sells between 60,000 and 100,000 albums and MySpace expects at least that many will take part in the promotion. "This happens in a time when the record industry has such a black eye," Josh Brooks, VP of Marketing for MySpace told Adweek.  "It’s a nice opportunity and a way to get your music out there."

For Textango, its about building brand awareness. According to the company’s CEO Shawn Dornian, "The overarching sprit is its breaking new barriers, doing new models and going against the status quo, which are all things we stand for". 

MySpace could become the giant in the ad supported game, but it is far from the first or most innovative.  Ad supported SpiralFrog is struggling for traction, but just a few days ago the RCRD LBL launched with free mp3’s from select artists supported by advertisers like Nikon.

And We7 has licensed 200,000 tracks and recorded more than 700,000 mp3 downloads. In addition to traditional display ads across, their model also grafts ads onto the front of music tracks and albums based on a consumer’s demographics such as location, age, gender and could be extended to preferences. This allows advertisers to engage  consumers ‘off web’ as they listen to the ad-embedded downloads. SonyEricsson, CaféDirect and Michael Moore’s latest film, ‘Sicko’ are all running campaigns on We7.

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  1. The latest attempts at new music distribution are to give music away free, but it’s a fallacious business strategy, whether SpiralFrog, Qtrax or Baidu in China. Unfortunately, this is unsustainable from a cost/revenue perspective, and counterproductive to the music retail market. The digital ad industry is simply not big enough to support the digital music industry.
    Digital music market is now at $30 billion and rising (including illegal downloads). While digital advertising is only at $20 billion and slowing.
    There’s an excellent analysis at Brooding Savage blog.


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