IV – The Fourth Installment Solicits Unsigned Artists…Again is once again trying to reinvent itself. Once a trailer park of unsigned artists that then CEO Michael Robertson declared would be the death of the major labels, the site has never been able to solidify a coherent strategy that would make it, not only a popular music destination, but also profitable.

Now owned by C|Net, who has absolutely no clue about 1) music and 2) web design, the site is now trying to woo unsigned artists to its mess by dangling 100 MB of free audio storage. Coming to the rousing conclusion that Net video is hot, the dimwitted managers are also offering unlimited bandwidth and storage of any video content.

Visiting the site today, prospective buyers are now greeted with a big fat interstitial advertisement. (No one bothered to tell the developers at C|Net that you insert the interstitial AFTER the home page, unless you want your site to reek of desperation). So immediately the prospective visitor’s view of the site is tainted.

Once past the interstitial, you now see a complete mess of a site with a confusing navigation scheme that makes you quickly scroll down to the pictures before going cross-eyed. The new now encompasses a mix of major label, independent, and unsigned artists. The site touts its ability to list “quality recommendations for similar-sounding independent acts alongside major-label musicians that helps fans discover a range of artists that match their taste.” However, we didn’t find this worked well at all.

The Future: None. The latest incarnation of is just another desperate attempt to try and grasp music fans who have long slipped through their fingers. With much more suitable, attractive and viable destinations to discover and buy new music, it’s obvious that the brand is finished.

Author: FutureMusic

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