MySpace Music is now testing 30-second audio ads that are played when listeners want to listen to free music through the popular service.
The trial first started in December, and has expanded to artist profile playlists, pop-out players and musician album pages.
MySpace Music already uses visual banner ads, but they can be hidden if a PC user is looking at other Internet tabs, or using other programs along with a browser.
News Corp. and several music labels are working together on the MySpace Music project, as record labels look for new ways to cash in on digital music.
“We’re testing some new ad products and the response from our users has been positive,” a MySpace Music statement noted. “As always, we are interested in hearing feedback from our users and advertising community as we run these tests.”
Yahoo Music, Pandora and other online music services also run audio ads in between songs. Some listeners may have complained about the ads at first, but user satisfaction increases depending how often the ads run. Furthermore, many users are willing to deal with ads if music continues to be available for free, and if the ads aren’t overly obnoxious.
TurboTax and OfficeDepot are early advertisers, with similar businesses expected to advertise soon on MySpace Music. As long as News Corp. continues to select appropriate ads to run, I don’t mind listening to ads.
MySpace has struggled the past four quarters, with the social networking site falling even further behind Facebook. It is now undergoing a new site overhaul, but there is no target date as to when it will re-launch.