Over a year ago, Yahoo shut down its online music store, offering customers a chance to switch to Rhapsody and warning folks to burn their tracks to CDs before Yahoo stopped authorizing their music—Yahoo even compensated customers inconvenienced by the shutdown.
Six months ago Yahoo indicated it was planning to relaunch its music site by reaching outward to other services, and now the company has made good on that promise by launching Yahoo Artist Pages. Yahoo hopes its artist pages—which cover overs half a million music acts—will become shoppers’ and fans’ preferred point for learning more about their favorite performers and (of course) buying some music. Only Yahoo isn’t selling the music: instead, Yahoo is pointing to services like iTunes, Rhapsody, Last.fm, Pandora, and YouTube…and, when a sale is made, taking a cut on every referral made to these other services.
“Yahoo is focused on attracting and engaging the largest online audience and connecting each individual to the people and experiences that matter most to them,” said senior VP of Yahoo’s North America Audience Group Jeff Dossett, in a statement. “With Yahoo Music’s Artist Pages, we’re creating a truly open and indispensable music destination that will drive music fans to Yahoo first on their path to music discovery, experience, and purchase.”
The new Artist Pages aims to put music fans in charge of their own music discover and purchasing experience; users can customize their own Artist Pages and select modules that drop into those pages from their favorite online services—and, again, Yahoo is perfectly OK with folks pointing outside the Yahoo site network. Yahoo also says users will eventually be abe to create and self-publish their own Artist Pages, so individual musicians, artists, and record labels can set up their own pages for access by Yahoo’s audience.
Yahoo is positioning its Artist Pages as a game-changer for the online music industry. However, only time will tell if Artist Pages features appeal to music fans strongly enough to successfully insinuate Yahoo into online music purchasing as, essentially, a middle-man.