MySpace page. Then today NPR announced that they will offer an "Exclusive First Listen" to the new albums of two music legends - Neil Young and Paul McCartney. In late September NPR had a similar arrangement for Bob Dylan's latest album. Younger musicians are flocking to Web platforms such as Imeem and last.fm to promote their music. For bands still under the radar, all the afore-mentioned sites cater to them - but also small sites like Muxtape (a notice on its homepage currently reads: "relaunching soon, in the service of bands").It's clear now that the Web has once and for all replaced TV's role in the music business. Yesterday Guns n' Roses released their very long awaited album Chinese Democracy via a colorful
All of this is further proof that Web technology has gone mainstream in the music business.
In an age when MTV seemingly doesn't play any music anymore - instead preferring to bore anyone over 15 years old with insipid 'reality tv' shows - it represents a big shift away from TV to the Web, when promoting new music.
The Guns n Roses MySpace page is impressive. It offers the full album online, a couple of days before the official release in stores. True GNR fans, including this author, will still buy the album when it is released. But by promoting the album online a couple of days before release, it encourages new fans and gives Guns n Roses a lot of free publicity and viral uptake on the Internet. This will almost certainly increase overall sales.
While Guns n Roses hasn't gone as far as Radiohead did with their latest album In Rainbows - which was released as a 'pay what you want' download before it was even an actual CD product - Guns n Roses and MySpace is an appropriate partnership for both parties. For Guns n Roses, it allows them to reach a young, hip, massive audience. And for MySpace, it gives them a lot of page views and we presume a very healthy profit from the record label and retailers such as Best Buy (which has a banner ad right at the top of the page). We should also point out that Guns n Roses has employed some heavy handed tactics to stop illegal file-sharing of the album, so they haven't been entirely savvy about the Web. Still, the MySpace promotion is inspired.
We've been impressed by many of the online music services this year - last.fm has continued to evolve its web services, Imeem has been a revelation for many music fans, Pandora's traffic continues to grow despite ongoing legal issues, sites like The Hype Machine (our coverage) and Muxtape (when it was available) offer something new and different, and so on.
I want my MTV? Not anymore. I can get everything I want in my Web browser! Although to be fair, even MTV has moved its music to the Web.