See that? Up there, in the headline? You see? I used not only a question mark, but followed it with an exclamation point, calling attention to just how goddamn ridiculous this concept is.
It’s no secret MySpace isn’t exactly the belle of the social networking ball anymore, and as such they’re losing a ton of revenue. Hell, their ad deal with Google is up for renewal next month, and something tells me Google isn’t quite going to pay the $900 million they did last time. So on the one hand, I guess it’s understandable that MySpace would be scrambling to think of new ways to generate some scratch. But charging for streaming music? Bad idea.
First of all, MySpace, we don’t NEED you for streaming music. We’ve got any number of other options that let us stream for free. If you start charging, all we need to do is bookmark another site. Last.fm has a nicer interface and offers pretty much what you do.
Secondly, this is super bad for the countless emerging artists who use MySpace as their primary marketing tool. I don’t think it would be too bold to say that MySpace is the independent music scene. What if all the fans leave for freer pastures? What happens to all these unknown, potentially great artists? Facebook? You trying to drive everyone away, MySpace?
Of course, this is only a consideration for now – there are no official plans, and even if it was implemented, it might be a reasonable model. So I’m kind of just venting. But, on the surface, this is a potentially risky move for a dying social network that doesn’t have a lot of room for risk.