Myspace Music Adds New Features as Sale Nears Close

The company is trying to make the music division as valuable as possible -- for the purposes of retaining existing users as well as attracting new users and potential bidders.

As parent company NewsCorp continues to seek out a buyer for the unit, Myspace continues to build up its product, particularly on the music side of things.

Last month, it introduced integration with Facebook, allowing artists to port their Myspace profiles into their Facebook pages. According to data shared by the company, about 18,000 artists have used this feature so far.

This week, it will introduce two other updates. First is a web app that provides more features to fans who use their smartphone browsers to access an artist's profile, rather than via an app. Among the new features is the ability to stream music -- 30-second samples of major label content, full songs from indies. The difference between the two comes to rights issues and cost. Another feature is the ability to save an individual artist's profile on fans' smartphones with a unique icon, so they can link directly to the profile.

Additionally, Myspace is giving artists new tools to access to the data and analytics around their profile, such as details on content uploaded, recent activity surrounding that content, organize fan comments and so on.

Taken by itself, these are small changes. But looked at in the overall context of the sale effort, they show how Myspace is actively trying to make the Myspace Music division as valuable as possible -- for the purposes of retaining existing users as well as attracting new users and potential bidders.

NewsCorp paid $580 million for Myspace in 2005 and is now reportedly looking to unload the company for around $100 million. According to several press reports, it's having a hard time finding interested buyers at that price, given the money and users that Myspace is losing.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that NewsCorp is now exploring a strategic partnership, rather than an outright sale-essentially selling only part of the company rather than unloading the entire thing. With millions of bands still relying on their Myspace profiles as their primary online presence, there remains some value there, particularly if combined in some partnership fashion with another music service (perhaps one that could take advantage of the free on-demand streaming Myspace Music offers).

According to the WSJ report, this whole process could be wrapped up this month, as early as the end of this week or next.

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