MySpace's departure as a top traffic generator for entertainment and music sites. Says Tancer, "MySpace was the most significant contributor of traffic to entertainment - multimedia sites providing over 35% of traffic to the category...that percentage now hovers below 10%."Bill Tancer, Hitwise GM of Global Research recently wrote about
And then on a related note, Wired's Eliot Van Buskirk profiled SoundCloud as MySpace's biggest music threat.
While no one is arguing that MySpace has lost its grip as one of the leading music and entertainment destination traffic generators, I disagree with Van Buskirk's choice in SoundCloud as the great equalizer.
Due to the service's ease-of-use and speed, SoundCloud is indeed one of the best file collaboration and music sharing sites. Quite simply, the site does everything right except help indie artists monetize. Meanwhile sites like Mix Match Music and Bandcamp provide solutions for bands to share AND monetize their products.
In particular, Bandcamp's execution is extremely elegant. As with MySpace, musicians upload their cover art, track listings, liner notes, lyrics and audio files. But Bandcamp adds four additional key features:
1. File Conversions: The site converts a single uploaded file into eight different formats to meet device and music player requirements.
2. Monetization: Bandcamp allows musicians to price their tracks and albums as they see fit. There is even the option to let fans decide prices on a sliding scale.
3. Sharing Tools: The service provides embeddable player widgets for Facebook, MySpace and a variety of 3rd party blogs.
4. Analytics: Perhaps most importantly, site analytics measure popular songs, track links and locate where files have been embedded. This means that musicians can search out their best advocates even if they're miles (and sites) apart.
While SoundCloud is definitely a fantastic tool for collaboration and remixing, it's the storefront-style tools like Bandcamp that will either eat or be eaten by MySpace Music. We'll just have to see where the major artists choose to flock in the coming months.
CORRECTION: Earlier the writer described SoundCloud as a P2P site. SoundCloud is not structurally based on a peer-to-peer network of nodes. Instead the company considers itself a "Flickr for audio".