Social Networks: Music to Brit Marketers’ Ears

socntwk.jpg This whole social networking thing isn’t going away anytime soon, is it? My breakfast copy of the FT is brimming with British social network news.

With A-level results set to be announced today, Univillage.com hopes to go head-to-head with MySpace, Facebook, and the leading British site, Bebo. It’s following a Facebook model: only UK students with a university address can register. Their marketing program’s sucess remains to be seen, but it’s laser-targeted. They’re mailing all the students who took the A-levels, using the university admission body’s e-mail list. Red Bull is the first advertiser on the network which has signed deals with major labels to add music and “secret gigs” to the mix.

The adjacent FT column reports the U.K.’s recording industry trade organization, the BPI, is haiing social networks for the resurgance in British music. British debut albums have captured their biggest share of the charts for over 10 years, thanks to MySpace, Bebo, Faceparty and digital downloads. Seems like just yesterday downloading was going to obliterate the music industry. Remember?

What’s the headline here, anyway? “Youth Likes Pop Music” just doesn’t seem to cut it. “Recording Industry Embraces Web” is catchier, no?

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