The U.K. music industry has largely welcomed the long-awaited launch of MySpace Music, despite it arriving, as one observer notes, a "little late to the party."

Commenting on the long-delayed U.K. bow for MySpace music, which took place at 00.01 GMT today, Geoff Taylor, chief executive of U.K. labels body the BPI, said in a statement, "there is certainly enough demand out there for several ad-funded services to comfortably co-exist and grow."

He continued, "The real prize is in converting swathes of Britain's 7 million regular file-sharers to these legal services. Proper playlist-sharing and other social functions certainly set these services apart from the illegal P2P offerings."

At U.K. collecting society PRS for Music, managing director broadcast, online & recorded media Andrew Shaw says: "MySpace has a great brand that resonates well with the U.K.'s music community and the launch of MySpace Music will bring further choice to consumers and bolster the legal digital market."

Prior to the service making its U.K. bow, an agreement for an online music license was signed between MySpace and PRS for Music.

Steve Purdham, CEO and co-founder of U.K. music streaming service We7 adds that he was "happy" to see MySpace Music launch in the U.K. adding, "music should be accessible to everyone and I believe that digital music services can offer this with a sustainable business model that can support the entire music ecosystem. "

"If you can offer a better than free service," says Purdham, "with a working business model to handle the industry's economics, you can find the answer."

A spokesperson for music streaming platform Spotify, meanwhile, calls MySpace a "great brand" saying they "look forward to growing the market together." He adds: "We all share the same goal -- to get music to the masses by providing fans with access to their favourite tunes that's simpler, faster and ultimately better than piracy."

Ben Drury, CEO of music download platform 7digital.com, said in a statement that, "although they are a little late to the party here, it's encouraging for the industry as a whole to have a name like MySpace investing in the music sector."

"The question now," Drury added, "is can the site, which has lost a lot of ground and users over the last year, attract enough users to make this service a profitable business?"

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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