"MySpace has had a better effect on music in the last 20 years than John Peel"

 by Martin Belam, 30 November 2006

"MySpace has had a better effect on music in the last 20 years than John Peel" - well, nobody has claimed that yet, but I guess it might be turning up in a press release soon, after I recently completed a survey for download site eMusic.


Whilst claiming to take the temperature of the UK music scene, (like I'd know, I live in Austria), it looked like a set of questions fishing for the kind of survey headline that generates column inches in all the UK press due to some unexpected outlandish assertion, like more people wanting The Libertines to reform in 2007 than Led Zeppelin.


Or that two thirds of music lovers thinking that X-Factor has been the most damaging thing to the British music scene in the last 20 years.


Or just that modern life is rubbish.


Half the fun in taking part in the survey was trying to second-guess the spin that the eMusic PR team will be trying to put on the results.

As part of my job now I have to keep across the various offerings by different download stores, and, survey aside, eMusic is one that has otherwise really impressed me. Their offer of a free 25 mp3 download trial just for signing up is an enticing one.

Once your 25 downloads or free fortnight is up, the system is based on a subscription which entitles you to various levels of downloads a month - I've opted for the basic level which offers 40 downloads. If you don't download your full quota each month you lose it though, which actually I think in the long term will encourage me to experiment more.

eMusic features almost exclusively independent label output, and as such I am gradually at the moment replacing all my old 4AD label vinyl with spangly new digital versions. I've got to the point where paying to download new copies is less effort than the hassle of digging my original records and CDs out of my parents garage and hooking them up to some sort of digitizing process.

The one thing I really can't get my head around though is the seemingly endless stream of people trolling the eMusic message boards having signed up to an 'independent' music service moaning that they can't download really mainstream artists.

i am very disappointed with e-music.....i can barely find any songs/artists i recognize....and i'm looking for well known ones....like bon jovi, kiss, aerosmith, kelly clarkson

Now, back to guessing those marketing dream headlines. Maybe it will be that blogs have displaced the charts as a source of musical authority...


1 Comment

Was the other half of the fun spotting the constant spelling mistakes, or was it the temptation to suggest "The Beatles" for question 7?

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