MySpace: from unprotected sex to unprotected music

MySpace is treating music as cavalierly as it treats friendship and sex.

MySpace’s “place for friends” is very friendly; A random visit to any of its 100 million friends will more than likely yield a “Sexy Sangria" or a “sexxxy muscle" (see “MySpace on diversification: it won't 'hurt the brand'”).

In “MySpace and its 100 million friends” I put forth MySpace’s co-founder Tom Anderson’s embrace of “anything goes” at MySpace. Anderson cites what he believes is a a competitive advantage of MySpace over Friendster:

They had no room for fakesters. If a dog or a city or an idea had a page, they would delete it. Could anything better have happened to us? People said. ‘I’m going to MySpace because I can do what I want there.

What do MySpace friends want to do “there”? The same thing young friends everywhere want to do: talk, dream and visualize sex.

Playboy Magazine has run a “The Girls of MySpace Contest”:

Hottest Girls on MySpace.com—Girls of MySpace nude pics

These are the faces you want to see on your friends list. These nine gorgeous Girls of MySpace were chosen from nearly 600 sexy women who answered one of Playboy's most successful calls for submissions to date...with members like these, it's no surprise the social networking site is so popular...These are the kind of beauties who will definitely expand your bandwidth.

Unfortunately for the $580 million corporate acquirer of MySpace, however, blue chip advertisers do not want to invest advertising dollars at MySpace alongside “Sexy Sangria" or “sexxxy muscle.”

MySpace’s anything goes modus operandi is reflected in its latest initiative to “let bands sell songs straight to fans.” Business Week reports:

MySpace is unveiling a partnership with Snocap, a digital music company founded by Napster creator Sean Fanning that will let musicians sell their music directly from a MySpace page—without depending on labels, distributors, or other middlemen…

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Here's how it works: Bands upload music to Snocap's registry. Snocap checks it against a digital database to make sure that it's original…and then feeds musicians a string of code that can be placed anywhere within a MySpace profile…

Consumers then purchase and download the music as MP3 files that aren't wrapped in the copy-protection technology that's typically used to protect copyrighted works.

MySpace is treating music as cavalierly as it treats friendship and sex. Moreover, MySpace continues to fall short of monetizing its 100 million friends to their fullest potential:

MySpace and Snocap say they will take a cut just large enough to cover the costs of the materials and provide a tiny profit; the lion's share of the sale goes directly to the artists.

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