MySpace is joining the search for a new music industry business model by enlisting the help of advertising.

MySpace is joining the search for a new music industry business model by enlisting the help of advertising.

Next March, fans of punk band Pennywise can go to stores to buy the group's ninth album. Or they can go to the MySpace profile of Textango, a mobile music distributor, and add it as a friend, which will allow them to download the entire album for free.

The promotion is the first test by MySpace of whether it can marry its enormous reach, fledgling record label it began two years ago and roster of advertiser relationships to create an alternative for bands to the current distribution model, which nearly all participants agree is faltering.

"This happens in a time when the record industry has such a black eye," said Josh Brooks, VP of marketing at MySpace, owned by News Corp. "It's a nice opportunity and a way to get your music out there."

Pennywise typically sells between 60,000 and 100,000 albums, Brooks said, and MySpace expects at least that many will take up the free offer and add Textango as a friend.

Yet the expected onslaught of friends was not a primary attraction of the partnership, Textango CEO Shawn Dornan said, but rather the opportunity to associate with MySpace and a new kind of music delivery.

"The overarching spirit is its breaking new barriers, doing new models and going against the status quo, which are all things we stand for," he said.

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