Plenty of sites have started selling music downloads in an attempt to either look cool, or cash in on their popularity -- even when selling music has nothing to do with the site or its purpose at all. Today brings word that MySpace is going to begin selling downloads of 24, following news last week that Fox would join other networks in selling its content through iTunes. So, are TV show downloads poised to overtake music downloads as the hot Web offering du jour? What's striking about the MySpace deal, like so many of the music-download services on random sites, is that they just throw the downloads up without even making an effort to integrate them into the site or its existing services. The whole point of MySpace is communication -- after all, it's a social-networking site -- not sitting there to passively watch some TV show. At the very least, you'd expect there to be some facility to let MySpace users engage the content somehow, like the ability to stream the show from their page, or add clips in to their blog -- just something, anything, to make the show add some value to users' experience on the site. Blindly adding music or TV downloads in an attempt to get some Web cred really doesn't make sense for these sites, particularly when they don't do anything to make the offering relevant to what they do. Without adding any benefit to make buying downloads from them better for their users than buying downloads from established sources like iTunes, their efforts are little more than futile.
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