Monday, January 22, 2007

SnoCap letting indie artists sell their music on MySpace

Ever wonder what happened to Napster founder Shawn Fanning? He's still in the music distribution game, but this time he's with startup SnoCap. SnoCap has developed an online technology it calls MyStore, which allows artists to sell their music from a website.

SnoCap has now entered into 2 very interesting partnerships. The first is with Merlin, a new agency formed to represent the music industry's independent artists. SnoCap is going to let independent artists that Merlin represents sell their music online as downloadable MP3s. But they still need the place to use the MyStore technology.

That's where MySpace comes in.

MySpace also entered into an agreement to let Merlin's artists sell their music via MySpace, using SnoCap's MyStore technology. MySpace and SnoCap had already partnered late last year to let artists use its MyStore technology, and the agreement between SnoCap and Merlin to let its artists sell their music via MySpace will launch in 'the near future'.

Jeremy, lead singer for The Favorites, has some interesting info on the deal, and the email that Tom sent out to artists on MySpace explaining how the partnership would work.

I am assuming this means artists will be able to sell the MP3s directly from their artist pages on MySpace. What I'm also wondering is if this could eventually led to artists letting fans on MySpace sell their music on their MySpace pages as well. This could open the 'peer to peer' floodgates that Terry McBride may have been hinting at when I interviewed him last year. It would also be a great way for bands to empower their fans to market for them.

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Anonymous said...

I can see it now. Each band with its own army of affiliate citizen marketers...

Anonymous said...

I love it so much. Right now, I use MySpace to test out probably 90% of the music I buy. You can always listen to at least 4 songs before deciding to buy. But now, I jump over to itunes to actually make the purchase, downloading their DRM infested songs. It's annoying, but still easier than driving to the cd store.

But, why even let me go all the way over there? If I'm ready to buy, wouldn't they want me to buy through them? I guess the answer is yes.

Mack Collier said...

Bingo Paul. And I do know that Nettwerk is pushing for a version of this plan that would let users sell the music on their own sites/blogs etc., with the site owner getting a share of every song sold. Actually I believe I read that SnoCap offers that now, it's just a matter of finding the labels/artists will to go along with it.

Anonymous said...

This is the definite, next logical step for myspace to partner with. Having the purchasing power so easily accessible is a brilliant idea. I especially like your thought of allowing fans (advocates) link to purchase pages on their myspace profile. Definitely a great way to spread word of mouth. It makes me wonder why this wasn't done a long time ago.

J.D. said...

This is brilliant. I couldn't tell you how many times I've gotten a friend request from a band, visited their site, loved a song, and then lamented that I couldn't have a copy for myself. Granted, some have free downloads on a couple of their songs, but having to go to iTunes just sucks, and ordering their CD takes forever.

On the other hand, if I could just click through and have it straight away, you better believe I'll be owning some music.

Anonymous said...

SNOCAP actually already has the functionality to make the stores viral in place. On each store all you need to do is click the "share this store" link and copy/paste the code right into any web page.

Just go check out Chantelle Paige on MySpace. You'll see her SNOCAP MyStore on the right side and the 'share this store" link. Fans can copy this store and paste it on their own MySpace pages and any other website they control.

Mack Collier said...

JD remember when we wondered when the music industry would come around in 2005 and last year? They may finally be listening to us ;)

Anonymous said...

The Snocap pr blitz continues to use smoke and mirror announcements to blur many important issues. The “Major labels Alliances” announcement covered here ( does not merit a precursor to any major selling the content that they own without drm and without price and distribution restrictions. In fact the announcement surely point to the fact the Snocap has been around for more than two years and that they still dont have many deals with the majors to distribute any of much of their music in a non drm format. I only know of 3 bands that are currenlty using the serivce. If anyone knows where I can find more major label Snocap conten please point me to it.

Why do we need the labels ? Why don’t the artist sell their music on their own and keep all of the revenue from their music along with the rights to distribute and sell it where and at whatever price they want (This can be done using Darmik as well as many other places on the internet). DRM is not the issue; control of distribution channels and revenue from holding the intellectual property of artist is the issue. For many major labels it seems that their strategy is to own or shut down any and all independent avenues to sells and distribution for the artist. In my opinon the major labels want to make sure that the artist has no choice in who sells and distributes their content; and that the fans have no choice in price and format. The Majors want to be the only game in town.

I think that we should no longer look to labels for the solution to freeing music from its old world model. We should look to the artist and to the fans that purchase the music. The artist should be the group that charts their own destiny as far as price, format, and distribution point. The fans that purchase the music should be allowed to purchase the music in a format that works uniformly on the devices that they use to play the music. If the artist gives their permission fans should also have the ability to resell the artist content for them, and in exchange receive a portion of the revenue. Neither the artist or the fans needs a label or a technology company to force a model or a format on them. I think that if we asked the artist and their fans what they wanted as far as music formats, pricing, distribution and ownership that we would more than likely already know the answer.

Artist should control pricing of their content as well as the format (drm or no drm) and distribution points. There are DRM formats available to content owners, so the issue of drm or not is one that is up to the content owner not one that should be made by any technology that is used to distribute the content. The decision to use drm is one that the content owners must make based on many factors. The key point here is that there are choices available and that the content owner should and can make this decsion.

I think that we should write off any current music that the major labels own as content that will never be in an open format playable on any device. We should also understand that more than likely this content will only be available at distribution points and at prices that the label; not the artist or their fans have anything to do with. We must accept this and move on to the next phase of digital content distribution that will give artist and content owners the freedom to decide their own destiny.

As far as the Myspace love fest. It needs to end. Artist, fans, and consumers of content must know and understand that any revenue generated for Myspace (A Newscorp company) is going to continue to fund the operations of fox news ( as well as the continued dismantling of independent media around the world. If as an artist or a fan or a user of the Internet you support any social issues or an independent and free media then myspace is not the place to become a member. By doing this you give them continued revenue and power.