Though it is still not clear when MySpace Music will actually launch, the social networking site announced on Sunday that it has secured underwriting for the project from McDonald's, Sony Pictures, Toyota and State Farm.
According to Reuters, the four sponsors will provide the funding that will allow the site to offer free streams of music from three of the four major labels — Sony BMG, Universal and Warner Music Group — as well as playlists, personal music players, access to concert tickets and merchandise. While ad-sponsored unlimited live streaming will be available, DRM-free downloads will typically require a fee. The new site will also allow users to create and post entire playlists, whereas current MySpace users can only add one song to their profiles for sharing.
"With MySpace Music integration, premium brands are offering our users and their customers new ways to discover, experience and share music online and offline," said Jeff Berman, president of sales and marketing at MySpace, in a statement.
AdWeek reports that the sponsors will be integrated into the music programming, offering McDonald's-sponsored free downloads, for example. State Farm logos will be visible throughout the site, appearing on the music player and certain playlists, while Toyota will sponsor "Toyota Tuesdays," featuring free downloads, and will rotate its ads on the music player over the next year.
MySpace announced the deal in April, but its launch has reportedly been hampered by the inability to find a chief executive to run the venture. Recent reports suggest it could open its doors as early as this week.
MySpace reportedly has 100 million registered users and more than 5 million bands already promoting themselves on the site, leading many to believe that MySpace Music is in a strong position to do what no other service has yet been able to accomplish: to put a dent in iTunes' domination of the music space.