Yahoo! on Tuesday will launch "artist pages" that let users connect to digital music at YouTube, iTunes, Pandora and other websites.
Artist Pages at Yahoo! Music are designed to showcase concert tour dates, music videos, band reviews, streaming tunes, and other music-themed online content, the northern California Internet firm announced Monday.
"We're creating a truly open and indispensable music destination," said Jeff Dossett, senior vice president of Yahoo!'s North America Audience Group.
Users will be able to customize Artist Pages with software "modules" that connect to Internet radio services such as Last.fm and Pandora as well as Google-owned YouTube video-sharing website, according to Yahoo!
Modules will also provide links to iTunes and Amazon.com, which sell music.
Yahoo! said Artist Pages at music.yahoo.com will eventually let users publish their own music.
"Artist Pages leverages the scale of the Web and Yahoo!'s massive audience to create something totally new, open, social and original," said Yahoo! Music head Michael Spiegelman. "Artist Pages is a major game-changer for the digital music industry."
The move comes as Yahoo! works to buoy its sinking fortunes and follow through on an "Open Social" strategy that breaks down walls between the online service and other websites.
Yahoo! outlined the shift last year, saying it would lead to meshing offerings from hot online properties such as Amazon and iTunes with its web pages.
Yahoo! wants to enhance the social aspects of its website in order to attract new people to its online services and get existing users to spend more time on its advertising-supported pages.
Outside developers were invited to find creative ways to interlace and enhance popular Yahoo! services such as it email, finance, sports and Flickr photo-sharing websites.
"Being a portal was Yahoo!'s major strength," analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group in Silicon Valley said about Monday's announcement.
"It is reflecting Yahoo! doing the thing they are supposed to be expert at -- be more of a portal site. They lost their way when they decided they wanted to be Google."
Yahoo! claims more than 500 million users worldwide but has been struggling to cash in on its popularity.
Yahoo!'s sagging fortunes and Google's ascension as Internet advertising king prompted Microsoft early in 2008 to offer to buy Yahoo! for 44.6 billion dollars in a half-cash, half-stock deal.
Microsoft was eager to combine online resources with Yahoo! in order to better battle Google.
Microsoft walked away from negotiations after Yahoo! rejected an offer it raised from 31 dollars to 33 dollars per share, which amounted to 47.5 billion dollars.
Fallout from the failed courtship included Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang stepping down as chief executive. Former Autodesk chief executive Carol Bartz took over Yahoo!'s helm in January.
(c) 2009 AFP
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