Business News Deals Digital Labels & Publishers

MySpace Music sign up more indie catalogue

By | Published on Friday 16 January 2009

MySpace has added more indie labels to its MySpace Music proposition thanks to deals with Terry McBride’s Nettwerk Music Group and three indie distributors, INgrooves, IRIS Distribution and RoyaltyShare.

They will also get access to music from New York based indie Wind-Up Records as a result of them handing their digital distribution over to Sony Music’s distribution division earlier this week. The big indie negotiator – ie Merlin – remains unconvinced of MySpace’s offer though.

As much previously reported, when MySpace made its new much expanded music streaming service available in the US last year it did so without the vast majority of independent record labels on board.

They, and in particular those affiliated to rights body Merlin, objected to the fact the four majors had been given an equity stake in the MySpace Music company set up to operate the new streaming service in order to secure their involvement. No such deal was offered to the indies, individually or collectively.

Merlin argued that this was especially unfair because it was the indie sector that initially embraced the MySpace artist profile service, helping the social networking company establish its music platform, one of the few aspects of MySpace to still dominate the web market.

MySpace did have access to some indie music – those distributed digitally by one of the four majors’ indie label distribution arms, or via digital aggregators The Orchard and IODA, who did sign up. MySpace say the new deals confirmed yesterday will give them access to “several hundred thousand” more tracks.

MySpace Music boss Courtney Holt told reporters: “These important new partnerships will allow the MySpace Music community to access even more of their favorite independent music while enabling monetization opportunities for the newly licensed artists. We are thrilled to have our new partners on board and will continue our aggressive content acquisition efforts”.

Perhaps Holt should try being less aggressive and a bit more giving in his attempts to sign up Merlin, who represent the digital catalogues of some 12,000 indie labels. Or perhaps the former Universal exec doesn’t really care.

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