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MySpace to Sell Music, Challenge iTunes

News Corp.'s MySpace will be selling music starting this fall, allowing bands and labels, no matter their size, to sell songs online at whatever price they wish.

To launch its music store, MySpace is partnering with Snocap, a tech firm founded by Napster creator Shawn Fanning, reports the New York Times. The music, in MP3 format, will not be copy-protected and will be playable on the iPod. More than three million MySpace pages are already devoted to music performers - music has been an integral part of the site since its inception - and the site's 100 million users are a ready-made audience to help MySpace challenge iTunes.

Major labels will like that they can charge what they want, which iTunes does not allow them to do, but they won't like that the music is not copy-protected. Smaller and independent labels, which find it difficult to get their music on iTunes, will therefore likely be early adopters.

"The goal is to be one of the biggest digital music stores out there," MySpace cofounder Chris DeWolfe is quoted by Reuters as saying. "Everyone we've spoken to definitely wants an alternative to iTunes and the iPod. MySpace could be that alternative."

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