Christmas tunes: MySpace vs Spotify

By Chris Cope,

Ever since the swift introduction of Spotify, music listening habits have changed. It offered extensive online streaming for free, eclipsing the sometimes patchy Last.fm, and also gave the opportunity to compile and share playlists with your best of friends.

Now it’s the turn of MySpace to try and take on this audio behemoth. The social networking website has always enjoyed a prominent role in the online music community, giving bands both tiny and big a home to promote their wares.

myspace-vs-spotifyAnd now it’s attempting to break into the album-orientated world of online music streaming with it’s free MySpace Music service. Billed as ‘the world’s most comprehensive online music experience’ MySpace Music claims to not only offer a superior audio experience but also gives users a multi-media extravaganza with video content available too.

People disenchanted with Roberta et al from Spotify’s audio adverts will also be pleased to know that the only adverts on MySpace Music will be visual, whilst similar to Spotify’s link-up with 7digital, there is also inter-connectivity with iTunes, meaning in a click of a button or two you can purchase that Lady Gaga song you’ve just streamed and shamefully enjoyed too.

Seeing as Christmas is creeping so unmercifully upon us, LatestGadgets decided that the best way to test MySpace Music’s claim of musical comprehensiveness was to compile a Yuletide playlist of some Christmas classics, and well, some duds too, and see which out of Spotify and MySpace Music could most faithfully recreate this ten song strong list. There are three categories of results – a plain ‘yes’ for the original song in its full glory, a damning ‘no’ for songs completely non-existent in the catalogue, and a ‘perhaps’ for songs lacking their original but are to be found online in the form of a cover or a karaoke version.

Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas? – S = yes! MM = perhaps.

The Darkness – Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End) – S = yes! MM = perhaps.

The Pogues ft. Kirsty MacColl – Fairytale Of New York – S = yes! MM = yes!

South Park – Mr. Hankey The Christmas Poo – S = yes! MM = no.

Queen – Thank God It’s Christmas – S = yes! MM = yes!

Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You – S = yes! MM = yes!

Wham – Last Christmas – S = yes! MM = yes!

Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24 – S = no MM = yes!

Twisted Sister – I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – S = yes! MM = perhaps.

Gayla Peevey – I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas – S = yes! MM = no.

So there you have it – Spotify reigns supreme on the Christmas playlist test. It picked up a number of vital points on the more obscure tracks, with MySpace Music performing admirably when it came to the classics. And finding the tracks was tougher on MySpace Music too, with its web based click through system less responsive than Spotify’s clean and precise interface – meaning that compiling the office Christmas party playlist on MySpace Music whilst a little squiffy may not be the best of ideas.

So what now for MySpace Music? Even more tracks, albums and videos are bound to be added to its library in the near future, but its lack of multi-platform compatibility may herald its downfall.

With Spotify popping up on iPhones and iPod Touch’s everywhere, here and there and Last.fm recently being added to X-Box Live’s roster too, online streaming on portable devices may over time usurp the computer as the traditional hub of digital music.

With this apparent lack of multi-platform interactivity, the website’s general downturn in popularity in this Facebook-era and Spotify’s Christmas playlist victory, MySpace Music already has a long way to catch up.  As Spotify gains a large percentage of the market, maybe this festive period MySpace Music will be singing ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ – but it remains to be seen how many people will actually jump ship.