It so happens that I became more accustomed with MySpace on behalf of a special type of client, a rap musician from West Hollywood. From afar, MySpace is one of the early success stories of Web 2.0, a place where user generated content and communities are thriving.
In theory this a marriage made in heaven: A virtual place to loiter is provided to those whose most resource is time. On the supply side, Mr. Murdoch makes most money, on advertising, while paying for technology. For the aspiring artist, with little DIY technology skills, MySpace seems like the shortest path to the audience. However, the MySpace audience is fickle and very hard to monetize on. In a sense, MySpace replaces the studios in that it provides a launching pad for many artists, yet it is only in theory that the successful artist stands to make some money. MySpace expenditures are mostly about the technology while marketing costs are very low--so it's the only one that can scale.
Consequently, artists may do better if they leverage MySpace-type of websites as mere portals into online properties they actually own and manage. For its part, MySpace can still make the extra steps and offer more to the aspiring artists, not only in terms of revenue sharing, but also in terms of providing support for a sustainable business model for artists. For example, as far as features of such technology support, MySpace can provide analytics, traffic management, payment systems, etc.
For practical details on enhancing either side of the virtual community equation, contact fCh.