Despite the announcement this morning (March 15) that online music seller Snocap would make available content from Sub Pop and Dangerbird via MySpace, president of the social networking site Tom Anderson said music retail is not a top priority for the site. Anderson was the subject of a Q&A with Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones at the South by Southwest music conference in Austin, Texas.

Anderson said it's not the intent of MySpace to "kill iTunes," and added that the site allows users to link directly to the iTunes store. Even though MySpace receives a cut of each Snocap sale, Anderson said MySpace users are looking to hang out, communicate and generally "waste time" rather than shop for digital downloads. "The music buying experience is different from what you do on MySpace," he said.

Yet he was quick to add that the potential of selling content from the likes of hot indie acts the Shins and the Silversun Pickups was a huge coup for a service he once envisioned to largely help unsigned artists. He said MySpace partnered with Snocap to sell unprotected digital downloads with the hopes of giving bands who lacked access to iTunes an outlet.

Indeed, Anderson noted that MySpace's objectives could quickly change. If the major labels were to drop DRM, and MySpace would allow users to browse bands and purchase music with one click, even Anderson conceded it would be a powerful tool.

"But time will tell," he said. "We're not investing a ton of energy in that. It's not a big part of our business."

For now, Anderson said MySpace makes enough in ad and search revenue that it's not making ancillary revenue avenues a huge focus in 2007. He said MySpace is considering some premium add-on services for photo storage, and will soon be selling ringtones to enchance its offerings to its mobile partners.

Anderson also said that MySpace will soon be revamping its artist pages for musicians. He said the site will be allow artists to post more than four songs in the near future, and will give bands more options for emailing its friends, which users could opt out of.


For full coverage, news and analysis from the 2007 South By Southwest Music Conference, visit Billboard.biz/sxsw.