MySpace, Record Labels Team Up For MySpace Music

The much rumoured and often spoken about ‘MySpace Music’ service has come to light, as I read this morning that MySpace have officially announced their new ‘MySpace Music’ service, a partnership between News Corporation and “three out of the four top record labels”.

The service is looking to become a one-stop shop for everything music; DRM free downloads and music sales, ticket sales for gigs and tours, band merchandise, ringtones – everything and anything goes.

It is a good move for the record industry and a great play for MySpace whose existing music service is used by millions of bands worldwide (I’m even in there) as a platform for showcasing music, listing gigs and connecting with fans.

Couple with that the ability to sell your tracks, merchandise and tickets directly through MySpace and you really have a powerful promotional tool for aspiring and established artists.

That said, with the deal seemingly focusing around the participation of three major record labels (EMI were holding out as of Friday), I would hope the the tools established by the service would be available to the smaller bands and those unaffiliated with record labels.

While the record labels look for ways to dig into online sales and catch up with the rest of the world, independent artists have been steaming ahead, safe in the knowledge that you don’t need a record label in order to release music. I’ve worked with enough bands over the last few years to see first hand you don’t need a record label to succeed and gone are the days of needing millions of dollars, pounds or Euro in order to record, launch and promote a single, EP or album.

Thomas Hesse, the President of Global Digital Business at Sony BMG Music Entertainment said in Thursday’s article on CNET that they are simply “aligning our efforts to reach fans through every conceivable platform”.

I haven’t seen any indication of what percentage of the market they’re trying to grab, likely away from Apple’s iTunes service, but here’s to hoping they don’t forget about the independent artists and make their new resources available for everyone.


  1. Chris Gallagher April 6, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    Good move by myspace. The record labels all seem to be looking for new revenue streams now with everyone downloading music and using iTunes (i use it even though I hate it), but EMI for some unknown reason seem to be the only one holding themselves back, maybe waiting to see how it all pans out before committing to anything.

  2. Ken McGuire April 6, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    It will be interesting to see at what stage EMI come into the deal, given that Sony, Universal and Warner have all given it their backing.

    Plus, the deal is non-exclusive so I wouldn’t be surprised to see other social networks getting involved in the mix. Bebo already has a tie-in with the iTunes store and if AOL are going to do anything to boost the service maybe they should look at something similar?

    Hopefully it will work out for MySpace and also open up the market where iTunes is concerned.

  3. Amiri April 6, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    This is not a “good move” for MySpace! It’s a blatant attempt on the part of the labels to raid what was ostensibly a home for independent artists! It shows how desperate they are to maintain their declining market power. And the fact that MySpace is willing to let them raid their user base shows that MySpace is not really serious about the independent market. So where does that leave the artists on MySpace, who will now have to cut through even more distractions as the majors spam and shill their artists all over the site? It’s looking quite bad for MySpace, in my opinion. Whether this is a competitor for iTunes or not is not the point. It’s understood that the labels don’t like Apple’s deal, they’re greedy and want to charge more money for their subpar product. That’s normal for them. What matters is that this changes nothing for the artists or the fans, and it may even be worse for both.

  4. Ken McGuire April 6, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    @amiri Could you not see a benefit for independent artists if they’re allowed to sell their own tracks, merchandise and tickets through MySpace?

    There is already a massive independent music audience on MySpace with millions of bands out there who, in some cases, have staggering amounts of followers and fans on MySpace. The presence of record labels on MySpace isn’t going to wipe out independent artists living and working on MySpace and if anything should bring a further audience to MySpace, increasing the opportunity for independent artists to be found.

    I for one welcome the opportunity to distribute more than just music on MySpace and if this deal and new service makes it happen, then bring it on.

  5. Ken McGuire April 6, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    I should also mention, I’ve read your post and want to link to it here for anyone else reading…

    I can understand your point of view when it comes to the record labels, while they’re looking to boost their failing traditional revenue streams, MySpace too are looking to make a buck. But the positive is in the additional service potentially on offer to independent artists, not the pending arrival of label-backed artists.

  6. Amiri April 6, 2008 at 4:41 pm


    MySpace *could* possibly do something for the independents, and that would be helpful. But they have had 5 years to do so, and they haven’t. So, when they finally get around to making a music store, what is it? It’s a deal with the majors! To sell *their* stuff! It shows that MySpace is thinking in only one direction, and that direction has nothing to do with independent artists.

  7. Chris Gallagher April 6, 2008 at 9:30 pm


    When I said it was a good move by MySpace, I meant to say that it was a good move from their own business’ point of view rather than the actual artists. At the end of the day they wont be making any changes to their platform unless theres something in it for them too. However, as Ken was saying, the additional services will only better the MySpace platform from an artists point of view. Its not as if the MySpace music tab has ever brought you to a random unknown act from its homepage anyway, most of the visits to pages would be through people directly inputting the url of the page or clicking through from another location.

  8. Pingback: Hawaiian Music Around The Web from April 4th through April 6th | Nahenahe.Net

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.