MySpace says that 1 billion songs have been streamed since the News Corp. social network debuted its MySpace Music service last month.
"We can confirm that we hit a milestone of one billion music streams only a few days after launching the new product," the company said in a statement, and a MySpace PR representative clarified to CNET News that the number only includes songs streamed since MySpace Music's debut. "More importantly, we are still compiling our metrics on engagement and unique users which will tell a much richer story on how positively the community is responding to the new music experience. We're excited to share more information and data as soon as it's available."
MySpace Music launched on September 24, with the catalogs of all four major record labels as well as indie music distributors encompassed by Sony ATV. The debut was accompanied by heavy promotion from big-name artists, across other Fox Interactive Media properties, and even a billboard in Times Square.
The iTunes Music Store, the biggest name in digital music, hit the five-billion-songs mark in June after over five years in business. But it's not really comparable to MySpace Music, because iTunes is a software download rather than Web-based, and charges 99 cents per song. MySpace Music streaming is free.
Let's do some simple math: if MySpace has about 120 million members worldwide, that's slightly over eight songs per member. Obviously, not all MySpace users have streamed any music, and there are probably quite a few who have streamed far more than eight songs. That's also a rough estimate, considering you do not have to be a MySpace member to stream songs--any visitor to, say, the Jonas Brothers' MySpace page could simply hit the "play" button.
But a billion is still a big number--and CNET News is waiting to hear from some third-party analysts and research firms to see if anyone has a different take on it.