Music has always been an integral part of the MySpace experience, and millions of bands have pages on the destination. The platform has been home to a diverse range of musicians, from underground indie artists to mainstream pop stars. For artists, MySpace has offered a platform to connect with fans, an inexpensive mechanism for promotion, and a better feedback loop on creative projects.
However, the question remains: is MySpace a place to sell music effectively? The answer is not straightforward, and it depends on a variety of factors. One of the most significant challenges for artists has been the availability of an effective sales channel. While MySpace has always been a great place to promote music, it has not been a reliable channel for selling music.
That said, there have been several attempts to make MySpace a more effective platform for music sales. One of the most notable initiatives came from Snocap, which ramped up its embedded MyStores music e-commerce program. The program allowed artists to sell MP3s directly from their profiles, opening an entirely new sales channel for artists. However, early-stage numbers appear low, as indicated by Chantelle Paige’s case study. According to Chantelle’s manager, Gabi Kochlani of GK Entertainment, sales were “very low” on Snocap, despite a front door feature on MySpace.
Instead, the traffic shifted towards the iTunes Store, which has been a more well-worn avenue for downloading music. According to Kochlani, “iTunes is part of pop culture these days. People already have their credit card on iTunes, it’s just a matter of convenience.” Kochlani also pointed to a consumer “comfort zone” on iTunes. Whisper numbers on other artists also suggest modest uptake, though data could not be confirmed with Snocap, which declined to offer sales information.
One industry insider opined to Digital Music News last week, “I just don’t think people are going to MySpace to buy stuff.” Another close to the platform flatly stated that “people don’t go to MySpace to buy.” These statements highlight the challenge of making MySpace an effective sales channel.
However, even directing MySpace crowds towards iTunes remains an uncertain model. One example comes from Tila Tequila, a MySpace celebrity who experienced somewhat lukewarm iTunes sales despite a heavy promotional effort. The artist, who boasts 1.7 million friends, crossed 20,000 iTunes downloads during her first two weeks, according to figures supplied by Robb McDaniels of INgrooves, part of the Tequila digital team. That could be an imperfect test, especially given the difficulty that many celebrities experience crossing over into music.
From a larger vantage point, larger conclusions are foolish this early in the game, though continued experimentation will help to build a stronger data set over the coming months. It is clear that MySpace has not been a reliable channel for music sales, but the platform’s potential remains significant. MySpace remains an important platform for promoting music and connecting with fans, and there is still an opportunity to develop an effective sales channel.
In conclusion, while MySpace has been a great platform for promoting music, it has not been as effective for selling music. The challenge of making MySpace an effective sales channel remains, and artists have had more success selling their music on established platforms like iTunes. However, there is still potential for MySpace to develop an effective sales channel, and continued experimentation will help to build a stronger data set over time.