MySpace will be testing the ad supported music waters this March with punk band Pennywise. Fans will be able to go to the MySpace profile of Textango, an mobile indie music distributor, and after adding them as a friend be able to download the entire album for free.
Pennywise normally sells between 60,000 and 100,000 albums and MySpace expects at least that many will take part in the promotion. "This happens in a time when the record industry has such a black eye," Josh Brooks, VP of Marketing for MySpace told Adweek. "It's a nice opportunity and a way to get your music out there."
For Textango, its about building brand awareness. According to the company's CEO Shawn Dornian, "The overarching sprit is its breaking new barriers, doing new models and going against the status quo, which are all things we stand for".
MySpace could become the giant in the ad supported game, but it is far from the first or most innovative. Ad supported SpiralFrog is struggling for traction, but just a few days ago the RCRD LBL launched with free mp3's from select artists supported by advertisers like Nikon.
And We7 has licensed 200,000 tracks and recorded more than 700,000 mp3 downloads. In addition to traditional display ads across We7.com, their model also grafts ads onto the front of music tracks and albums based on a consumer's demographics such as location, age, gender and could be extended to preferences. This allows advertisers to engage consumers ‘off web’ as they listen to the ad-embedded downloads. SonyEricsson, CaféDirect and Michael Moore’s latest film, ‘Sicko’ are all running campaigns on We7.