The competition heats up…

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As social networks and music marketing become increasing intertwined, an interesting connundrum has arisen with the arrival of social network-sponsored music delivery services. MySpace recently launched a revamped music section, offering additional promotional tools and direct sales for major label artists. However, the popularity of third-party widgets on sites such as MySpace and Facebook (which is rumored to be working on its own joint venture music service) brings these new tools in direct competition with existing applications.

Additionally, as social networks start selling music, and new communities arise specifically directed toward discovering new music, iTunes faces increased competition in the music delivery market. Will social networks supplant iTunes as a ‘one stop shop’ for both networking and discovering new artists? Will iTunes add a networking component in an effort to ‘one-up’ emerging music providers by combining their more developed e-commerce platform with a MySpace-like networking space (though one imagines the profiles on such a network having a cleaner, Facebook-like look)? Is this any different than Wal-Mart and Target containing music sections and increasingly, at least in the case of Target, offering a larger selection of under-the-radar artists? Is it any different than the competition between Amazon.com or Walmart.com downloads and iTunes?

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