Did Apple Just Kill MySpace?

New iTunes 10 Adds 'Ping' Social Network      01/09/10
Did Apple Just Kill MySpace?


Apple today released iTunes 10, introducing Ping, a new music-oriented social network.

Here's what Apple has to say about Ping:

Ping lets you follow your favorite artists to see what they’re up to, check out photos and videos they’ve posted, see their tour dates and read comments about other artists and albums they’re listening to. You can also create a profile on iTunes to let your friends know who you’re following, what you’re listening to and which concerts you’re going to.

There’s no better way to discover new music than to find out what your friends are listening to, and Ping’s Recent Activity feed shows you their posts about artists, albums, songs and concerts, plus a consolidated Top 10 list of the songs and albums your friends and the artists you follow are downloading from iTunes.

In addition to using Ping on your desktop computer, you can take it with you on your iPhone or iPod touch, so you’re always plugged into your personal music scene.

Did Apple Just Kill MySpace?

Apple's Ping is bad news for MySpace - which a few years ago translated people's interest in music into the leading social network in the world. 

More recently, though, MySpace has been in decline, as the site stagnated and more nimble competitors came along, especially Facebook

Now Apple is challenging MySpace's core, music social networking.

With 160 million iTunes users, Apple could rapidly catch up with MySpace's audience of users. iTunes should benefit from the fact that many users keep the application open all they time that they're on their computer. And Ping's integration with iTunes ties social music discovery together with music purchasing and syncing. 

The evolution of iTunes Ping will be important for musicians to watch:

  • Ping ties social music discovery with the iTunes music store, so it may be a more profitable social network for musicians;
  • Ping moves music social networking off the Web and into a proprietary app, making MySpace profiles less important and making band sites more important; and
  • Ping separates bands' social music presence from Web search, which could make it harder for smaller bands to be found. 

What do you think of iTunes Ping - and how do you think it will affect musicians?

Leave a comment with your thoughts!

James Lewin
Twitter @podcasting_news

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