So today was the day Jobs announced ‘Ping’. Apple seem to have decided that the world is one social network short and could do with one that does everything that we can already do using services like Rdio, and Last.fm but with one major difference which is likely to make it an absolute hit – There’s a massive Apple backing it with access to ~150 million credit cards.
What is Ping?
Ping is Apple’s new music social network being described around the blogosphere as “Twitter meets Facebook for music” in the sense that Ping allows you to follow and accept friends to see their listening habits or let them see yours (similar to Facebook), alternatively you can set it to allow anyone to view your updates in a news feeds similar to Twitter.
There has also been speculation that Ping is likely to be the death of Myspace – highly unlikely in my opinion. I don’t think Myspace serves the purpose of a share-centered social network, that’s not why bands are using it. Most bands I know or work with use Myspace because of the fact it’s a generally accepted alternative to sending out demos and it’s a recognised and trusted place for fans to listen to your music, in my opinion the only direct competitor that Myspace have on those grounds at the moment is Soundcloud, and perhaps Youtube.
What’s the benefit for bands?
I personally don’t think Ping will replace Myspace unless it begins to create a better profile functionality than Myspace, but I do think that it will eventually become a decent marketing tool for bands and musicians simply because it’s hosted right on the gates of the magical land of the iTunes store – and if your fans are hanging out near those gates then I’m pretty certain that sales in the iTunes store will increase quite dramatically because fans will be able to purchase music with much less hassle, making it a more desirable place for musicians to send their fans.
iTunes 10 (the latest version of iTunes) has announced an added location function built in – alerting you when artists you are downloading or listening to are performing in your local area, I would be incredibly surprised if Ping didn’t jump onto the geo location networking bandwagon by incorporating this function into Ping or Ping Smartphone Apps somehow, but is it really necessary? Does it REALLY help bands?
What do you think?
Image Credit: Stuckincustoms