MySpace Music Adds More Indies

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MySpace Music—the joint venture between the social networking giant and the major record labels—has announced a new partnership with the Independent Online Distribution Alliance (IODA) to add more than a million tracks from independent artists into MySpace Music. IODA’s catalog brings a diverse range of over 50,000 independent and international artists to MySpace Music’s selection, including musicians from more than 50 countries and performers from a variety of respected independent music labels.

Financial terms of the arrangement were not disclosed. MySpace Music, launched last month, is set up as a joint partnership between MySpace and the major record labels, with the majors each owning a chunk of the company proportionate to their market share. It would be reasonable to assume that IODA’s deal is based on some sort of revenue-sharing agreement, rather than a ownership stake.

“The independent music community has been a cornerstone of MySpace Music,” said MySpace co-founder and CEO Chris DeWolfe, in a statement. “We remain fully committed to building an economy for artists and providing them with the necessary tools to further their careers and better connect with music fans everywhere.”

MySpace Music claims to host more than 5 million artists in its profiles section, including independent and unsigned artists right alongside indies and major label acts. The site can feature tour information, photos, videos, and blogs, and is sharply focused on monetizing music offerings: MySpace puts together real-life concert events like Secret Shows and MySpaceLive, and plans to expand MySpace Music into offering physical products like merchandise and memorabilia, as well as concert tickets. For the time being, MySpace Music is only available in the United States.

MySpace Music’s deal with IODA marks a significant expansion of independent music available through the service: at launch, MySpace Music’s only deal with independent artists was through The Orchard. Still missing from the mix are A2IM (American Association of Independent Music) and newborn, self-proclaimed “fifth major” Merlin, the latter of which complained bitterly about being left out of the MySpace Music launch. Industry watchers report MySpace Music is in talks with both organizations, but no deals have yet been hammered out.

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