Today, MySpace launched a new part of its Website called Transmissions that will feature candid session videos and recordings of musicians. The only thing on the page right now are a few session recordings from James Blunt and a video interview of him sitting at a piano. The page has a bunch of sliders like on a stereo equalizer that you can move around, but don’t seem to actually do anything. The level indicators are nice, though. Five songs for $14, though, seems a bit steep. (Songs are purchased through a partnership with Lala.com).
MySpace obviously wants this to become the MTV Unplugged for today’s music fans. Session recordings are perfect for MySpace because of their intimate nature and immediacy. Fans can get involved by leaving comments or going to the forums. Soon it looks like they will be able to vote for their favorite songs in each session, and request musicians to be featured in upcoming “transmissions.” This would be great for live performances as well.
Creating online events around music is a natural for MySpace. These performances are something special and exclusive to the site, and that is what will draw people. You can listen to an album stream anywhere. The more fans can participate, the more successful this will be. For instance, there should be a way for fans to request songs from individual artists, or eventually to mix and match songs from different sessions, and buy their own mixes or stream them (for free) from their MySpace pages.