Musical artists from local garage bands to chart-topping megastars have long ago figured out how to use MySpace profiles to promote their acts, and now Sony BMG Music is making things more official. The music label is partnering directly with MySpace to provide streaming music videos, as well as select audio material and other content, on the social network site, directly from its artists’ MySpace profile pages.
The two companies have agreed to split sponsorship and advertising revenue from the content, and MySpace has agreed to help promote Sony BMG’s artists throughout the site. Of course, social network sites like MySpace have been doing their best to dodge lawsuits from content owners when their users started sharing the odd song or image, but this seems to be more of a “if you can’t beat them, join ’em!” move on Sony’s part.
In a separate announcement, MySpace also partnered with eBay’s Skype service to provide the free Internet phone call technology directly from the social network users’ profile pages. Users with a Skype account will be able to click a single button in their MySpace profile to call the computer or telephone of another member, even if they’re not online at the time. Again, the two companies have agreed to share revenues as part of the partnership, as the basic Skype service is free, but premium features like voice mail and a personal phone number cost extra.
The combined Skype and MySpace service does have some potential concerns, according to security experts who claim that the combination of the corporate “time-waster” social network along with the Skype system which opens up firewall ports to network traffic can play havoc with a corporate network. Personally, I’m more concerned that once all the teenagers using MySpace also figure out how to use the free phone system and all start making calls, it will bring the entire Internet to a screeching halt.