June 27, 2005

MySpace Adds Content for a Song

LOS ANGELES -- Online lifestyle community MySpace.com has expanded the kinds of exclusive content it offers its members.

Among the new features unavailable elsewhere are a podcast by Foo Fighters and a personal blog maintained by Smashing Pumpkins founder Billy Corgan.

In the Foo Fighters podcast, founding member Dave Grohl plays clips as he relates the making of the new two-disc set "In Your Honor," which is currently No. 2 on the U.S. pop charts. The downloadable audio is offered with streams of the first single and other items of interest to fans.

"Podcasting is probably more hype than people are using it, particularly since the majority is talk radio or bad talent, but it's a good fit for MySpace because of the personal connection," MySpace.com CEO Chris DeWolfe said.

Corgan's blog accompanies a stream of his entire debut solo album, "TheFutureEmbrace," which was released last Tuesday. As with most MySpace promotions, the music was available many days before it was released to radio or retail.

"Corgan has written some extremely provocative blogs, going back to his childhood and his hardships," DeWolfe said. "It gives users a peak into his inner life, building loyalty and creating a one-to-one relationship between the artist and his fans."

By the end of the first week, Corgan had 54,053 "friends" -- MySpace users who added him to their personal network, encouraging others to investigate. DeWolfe expects that number to grow significantly as the viral aspects of MySpace kick in. Weezer, for example, set up a site for "Make Believe," and ended up with more than 100,000 friends by the time the album debuted at No. 2 on the charts last month.

Current chart champs Coldplay also tapped into the MySpace world, showcasing 20 minutes of concert footage from a recent acoustic performance in Japan that never before had been shown. Tracks available for viewing include "Swallowed in the Sea," "Till Kingdom Come" and "A Message."

DeWolfe believes there is a direct corollary between MySpace user statistics and sales figures. For example, when MySpace offered "With Teeth," the first Nine Inch Nails studio album in more than five years, fans streamed it more than a half-million times in one week, and the album subsequently entered the charts at No. 1.

Other MySpace album debuts included Audioslave's chart-topping "Out of Exile" and the Black Eyed Peas' "Monkey Business," he added.

Consumers can peruse My-Space's sponsored content without becoming members, contributing additional impact on top of reaching the more than 18.5 million registered users.


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