Authored by Jon Mercer in Social Networking
Published on 01-22-2009
Social Networking giant MySpace has recently added a lot more music to its web site with the addition of content from five larger independent music labels, and also a few “Indie” music distributors. MySpace launched its music web site in September last year, and it has quickly grown in large numbers to meet the overwhelming demand for more music content by users.
Nettwerk Music Group, Ingrooves, IRIS Distribution, and RoyaltyShare are among the new partners that have signed on to be a part of the MySpace music phenomenon. As a result of an earlier deal for digital distribution with Sony Music Entertainment, the service also gains Wind-Up Records. MySpace officially announced the acquisition of Wind-Up Records earlier this week.
The new deal will provide users of MySpace with access to as many as several hundred thousand new tracks of musical content in the MySpace music catalog. This brings the total number of MySpace’s indie music partners to seven. These include the Orchard and IODA labels that were announced at last year’s launch.
However, MySpace Music still lacks a licensing deal with Merlin, which is a collection of 12,000 smaller indie labels. The Merlin group has been a vocal opponent of the business terms of MySpace Music. Merlin and other indie labels complain that MySpace Music offers major labels an equity stake in the MySpace Music joint venture; while independent labels are not offered equity. Merlin and the other opponents of MySpace Music say that this is effectively like they are being asked to license their music to a service operated by their competitors.
In their defense, MySpace says they remain committed to the independent music community, and that they are focused on new music discovery and sharing music. Independent music is considered to be essential to the value of the new service, and MySpace says that more new music deals will be forthcoming as they continue to focus on influential independent labels.
The expansion of MySpace Music not only offers its users a larger variety of music to discover and share, it also allows newly signed independent artists to increase their online presence, and get their music out where it can be heard by millions of potential fans and consumers around the world.
MySpace vows to continue their aggressive content acquisition efforts. Courtney Holt, the president of MySpace Music, says “We are thrilled to have these new labels on board.” There’s certainly no doubt that MySpace is becoming a major player in online music.