MySpace Music has launched in Britain with a "Get Real Close" campaign that includes a playlist of tunes from the Vatican.
Papal picks range from the conventional -- composer Mozart and chanteuse Dame Shirley Bassey -- to the unexpected, including alternative rock band Muse and the late rapper 2Pac, who famously chronicled thug life in his music.
MySpace Music provides unlimited, free streaming of music, letting users customize and share playlists at the online social-networking service. MySpace Music is already available in Australia, New Zealand and the United States.
"We're excited to be launching in the UK," said MySpace Music president Courtney Holt.
"MySpace has always had an unrivalled reputation for encouraging the enjoyment, discovery and sharing of music, and this launch concentrates and expands on that distinctive character."
MySpace Music launched in Britain as clocks there ticked into Thursday morning. The debut kicked off with hot band Kasabian performing in a London club.
An array of artists including Alicia Keyes, Nelly Furtado, and Pixie Lott have taken part in interactive films or provided personal music playlists to commemorate the British launch.
MySpace Music features include artists and famous figures sharing playlists of their favorite songs with members of the online service.
MySpace provided a glimpse Wednesday at Vatican selections and some from British celebrity Katie Price, whose "getting ready for a night out" playlist includes "Heartless" by Kanye West and "Single Ladies" by Beyonce.
California-based MySpace Music claims the most comprehensive catalogue of audio tracks and music videos available online.
Along with free music options, the service enables users to buy songs as digital downloads from Apple's online iTunes store.
Downloaded music is not fettered with anti-piracy software and can be listened to on any MP3 player, according to MySpace.
"The way people are consuming music has changed dramatically, and we're aiming to develop a next-generation platform that builds a sustainable business for MySpace Music, content licensors and artists, while serving fans in a completely unique way," Holt said.
Since being dethroned by Facebook as the world's most popular online social networking community, News Corp.-owned MySpace has become an Internet venue where musicians famous or obscure can connect with music lovers.
MySpace said it has an agreement with the PRS for Music, which represents British composers, songwriters, and music publishers, to pay royalties for tunes played at the online service.
(c) 2009 AFP
Explore further: Premier US album chart revamped to include streaming