Fans as music-sellers on MySpace
You’ve likely heard the news that MySpace is going to enable selling music. Particularly interesting is that they are letting the fans sell the bands’ tunes through their own profiles:
A handful of bands have been testing the MySpace online music feature for several weeks. One is The Format, an indie rock band from Phoenix, Ariz., that boasts more than 99,000 “friends” on their MySpace page.
Terry McBride, chief executive of Canadian label Nettwerk Records, which manages the band and handles their marketing and promotion, said having fans help sell the band’s music is the wave of the future.
“We have a strong belief the next major retailer in music is the consumer themselves,” McBride said. “This is a step in the right direction.”
I guess it’s not that different from being an Amazon affiliate, except it looks to me like the fans aren’t getting any of the take for sales made through their profiles. Anyone know for sure?
I wondered before about where the line is between empowering and exploiting fans, also in the context of the Murdoch empire, and this is another example. Yeah, I would love to be personally responsible for selling records by my favorite artists (I confess that I’ve been known to count how many copies of records I know were bought because of my recommendations). On the other hand, if I had a thriving little media sales empire taking place through a web profile I expended considerable energy on maintaining and keeping filled with current and compelling content, I think I’d feel a wee bit resentful if I weren’t seeing any of that income. Of course, I’d want a cut of MySpace’s profit, not the band’s.