The forthcoming MySpace Music, set to roll out over the next 3 to 4 months, may have video from all the major labels (presuming EMI comes on board) but it will compete for the hearts and minds of young people with no-longer so-alternative music communities like Pitchfork.tv.
Projects like Pitchfork.tv and the forthcoming Videogum (newly acquired music blog Stereogum plus video) were undoubtedly conceived well before MySpace Music was announced - heck, that was just last week. One has to wonder, though, if the established leaders in the music industry is in trouble not just because of the proliferation of free MP3s around the web, but also because of the mainstreaming of what used to be considered alternative music.
Non-pop music has gotten big enough globally that there are now running battles in the streets of Mexico between Emo fans and angry bigoted crowds seeking to beat them up.
When the MySpace Music mega-portal was announced, we asked: where's the long tail of independent music that was so key to MySpace's early growth? It's on sites like Pitchfork.tv MySpace says it will expand to include the long tail of music in time, but whether that site will be able to produce the authentic, informed content that sites like Pitchfork and Stereogum can would even then be a big question.
On the other hand, all of these people might be so "ironic," the music so homogenous that it will never scale or make more than an annoying blip on the mainstream music industry radar. That's possible, too. These folks are pretty ironic about being ironic, though, which may or may not be a good thing.
The site looks good. Video quality is high, there's an embeddable player but no commenting or social features. That's almost a relief. Some of the content is embeddable and some of it isn't.
In addition to a healthy list of music videos from bands ranging from The Chemical Brothers to Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, there's also a section for recordings of live concert performances and another that showcases premium content "for one week only." The first One Week Only segment is a documentary about The Pixies 2004 reunion tour. It's well produced and fun to watch. Site navigation is good. It's a good little site.