Saturday, April 5, 2008

MySpace, Joint venture- to launch new online music service

MySpace, which has lured millions of big acts and garage bands alike to build profiles on the popular social networking hub to attract fans, said Thursday it will turn those pages into portals for selling music, merchandise and more. MySpace may also be looking for ways to maintain its lead on rival social network Facebook, which has been gaining in popularity.

MySpace had been discussing the venture with music companies for several months, during which MySpace and Universal Music overcame a major hurdle - a copyright infringement lawsuit Universal brought against MySpace in 2006 over alleged illegal music sharing.

MySpace Music are joint venture with three of the biggest recording companies
  • Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group,
  • Sony BMG Music Entertainment
  • Warner Music Group Corp.
The fourth-largest music company, EMI Group PLC, is not part of the deal.MySpace is in licensing talks with "everyone'' but declined to say where discussions stand with EMI, home to artists such as Coldplay and Norah Jones.

MySpace Music, which will roll out gradually in coming months, will enable artists to sell music downloads, concert tickets and merchandise such as T-shirts through their profile pages and to offer ringtones through a unit of MySpace parent News Corp. In 2006, MySpace began letting artists sell music from their profile pages using a third-party technology, but that capability never was integrated into the site the way MySpace Music's storefront will be

That the Web is becoming increasingly more social. MySpace Music is a new way of experiencing music online that everyone can participate in. Fans also will be able stream audio and video for free through musical artists' profile pages. Some tracks will be sold without copy-protection safeguards but noted that the major labels had committed only to experimenting with offering content in an unrestricted format.

Selling music without the copy protections that make such tracks incompatible with Apple Inc.'s iPod music players could place MySpace Music in direct competition with existing digital music stores such as Apple's iTunes,, Napster Inc. and others. That's what people do with music already on MySpace, it's what has made Last.FM and so popular so quickly.

MySpace, which boasts more than 110 million monthly users, has more than 5 million profile pages showcasing major label artists, independents and unsigned acts. All those artists would eventually be able to take advantage of MySpace Music's offerings, the company said.


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