MySpace Music makes its way to the UK

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http://mediaservices.myspace.com/services/media/embed.aspx/m=101095971,t=1,mt=video

MOG may well be hitting a sweet spot with its All Access service, but it’s only available in the United States for now. Its most obvious competitor, MySpace Music, was too (apart from Australia and New Zealand) until a minute ago when the company made its official debut in the United Kingdom just over a year and two months after it was launched stateside.

Looks like the Telegraph’s sources were only a couple of months off, ultimately.

Anyway, MySpace users in the UK can now enjoy the same free, ad-supported service our American, Australian and Kiwi friends have had for a while: fully licensed audio and video content from major and indie artists that can be streamed on the social network for free, personalized music players and user & artist playlisting features, in addition to monetization opportunities and access to analytics and charts tools for all artists.

Like in the U.S., MySpace Music also offers UK users the opportunity to purchase and download DRM-free music directly via iTunes.

In addition, MySpace has announced that it has come to an agreement with PRS for Music, which claims to represent 65,000 of the UK’s songwriters, composers and music publishers. The agreement allows PRS for Music members featured on MySpace to receive royalties for their work. Perhaps this deal was the main reason for the delay of its UK launch.

Nice touch: the launch campaign includes the publication of multiple exclusive personal playlists from a wide variety of famous music artists and fans. Particularly the one from The Vatican should prove to be interesting (the Pope apparently likes Tupac). Or not, of course.

MySpace has something to make up in these parts – it recently laid off a bunch of staff on this side of the pond and saw Twitter overtake it in traffic as far as the UK goes (source: Hitwise). And the elephant in the room is of course the fact that MySpace Music’s debut in the UK can seriously hinder the expansion plans of the likes of Spotify, Last.fm and We7.

In the United States, MySpace Music isn’t doing too shabby in terms of audience attraction: it started out great, underwent a couple of redesigns and is currently one of the top destinations on the Web. In fact, it ranked #1 in the U.S. for total visits for October 2009, according to comScore’s Media Metrix. Its appeal, particularly towards a younger demographic, is undeniable.

On the other hand, rumor on the street is that the company is inevitably being forced into a situation where the only way it can sustain the high costs of streaming free music to millions of people on a daily basis is by making it at least partly based on paid subscriptions.

But for now, it’s ad-funded and free, so go create and share some playlists of your own (if you’re in the UK, that is). And don’t forget to share them with the Pope.

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