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MySpace Music's Courtney Holt hints at new features

July 23, 2009 |  5:52 pm

MySpace Music has come in for criticism from the labels, whose executives have publicly (and privately) said it has been slow to find ways to make money on its massive community of music fans.

Recently, through, MySpace Music is showing flickers of life.

Since the site’s launch in September 2008, it has grown from 4.2 million users to 12.1 million, ranking it ahead of other popular music sites like MTV Networks Music and the Internet radio site Pandora. It's gaining traction with people ages 12 to 24, who are more than twice as likely to visit the site than the average Internet user.

MySpace Music chief Courtney Holt hinted at Fortune's Brainstorm Tech conference in Pasadena today that new features are coming.

Myspace Holt said the recent executive restructuring at MySpace -- which saw the departure this spring of co-founder Chris DeWolfe -- has brought in a new team that's focusing on better integrating music throughout the social networking site.

MySpace Music is working on giving greater reach to online music taste-makers -- Holt dubbed them "social DJs." The site is trying to find new ways to highlight these arbiters, who influence their friends, so it can reach even more people.

"MySpace is trying to figure out how to give them more power," Holt said.

New artist tools are also in the offing.

Holt didn't announce a timetable for making available such long-promised features as as selling concert tickets or merchandise, but he did talk about the opportunity to promote live performances, where 50% of tickets go unsold. This is especially a problem for middle-tier artists who have moved beyond small clubs but are not filling up arenas.

"The No. 1 reason is lack of awareness," Holt said, "No. 2 is price."

-- Dawn C. Chmielewski