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Digital music distribution just got a whole lot easier with MediaNet's open API

You've probably not heard of MediaNet but they've been around for a really long time -- 2001 to be precise. Back then they attempted to sell music through MusicNet, a service that powered the big boys (BMG, EMI, Warner). If you bought music online before iTunes, it was probably through MusicNet. For a variety of reasons though, it never really took off (blame DRM). While they were licking their wounds, Apple's iTunes picked its way to the top with very little competition.

But MediaNet is back with a new, easy-to-use interface (API) that makes the reselling and distribution of digital music really, really easy. You see, MediaNet has deals with all of the big record labels. You simply build the site, be it a lyrics repository or a social network, tack on some MediaNet extensions, and voilà! A site that sells music.

There's no barrier to entry now -- here come the start-ups! CNET are reporting that many sites are already getting in on the action. Imagine the possibilities: a news story about Lady Gaga, with links to buy her music down the side, or a blogger that wants an easy way to share a song they like with their readers. How about 'buy this song now' below every video shared on Facebook?

Where does this leave Microsoft and Apple? Both are stuck with standalone music stores. It's surprising that neither of them have moved towards the music-as-a-service angle. I doubt with iTunes' massive success that Apple will consider changing their game plan -- but I expect Microsoft might have something up their sleeve. They love their services.

[via CNET]

Tags: digital music, DigitalMusic, itunes, medianet, musicnet

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