Ping... what's the point?

So anyone not living under a rock has most likely seen information on Apple's newest venture, "Ping" in the past few weeks.  Ping is Apple's answer to social media phenoms like Facebook and Twitter utilizing a new network from which we can share our musical tastes, see what our favorite artists are listening to, and see eachother's new <ahem> profiles.  I dont believe they are wrong in wanting to jump onto the social bandwagon, just flawed in their approach.  Other music services have integrated into these other platforms successfully... just look at iLike and Spotify among others.  they have utilized the tools (read: API) that are out there and integrated into the places we already reside rather than requiring us to create yet another new profile to participate.  Why must Steve Jobs always recreate the wheel?  Granted, his quest to "build the better mousetrap" usually yields righteous results- but I fear that this one may fall flat.

So how does this affect artists?  Well, if you are a Major Label talent with a huge following already it has been an easy transaction.  At launch, most of my favorite mainstream artists had pages...  Apple did a good job of making sure the the stud horses of the stable were included at launch but what about the others?  Will they get lost in the herd?  Initially, Tunecore was the only 3rd party mentioned loading content and now it has opened up to a few more aggregators such as the Orchard and CD Baby.  According to Digital Music News, Apple plans to open up to other labels and aggregators but at this point it is slow going.  As far as I can tell at this point, independent groups have no option for inclusion other than the use of a 3rd party.

In the end, will Ping be a game-changer?  Probably not.  Truth is, Apple should have accessed some of the already prevalent technologies in the marketplace to strengthen their launch.  I don't know if John Q Public is going to be willing to join yet ANOTHER social network.