There's been some buzz about this all week, but now it's official that MySpace has teamed up with three of the four major record labels
(the smallest, EMI, is still holding out, though it may join eventually) to create a joint venture offering called MySpace Music. The company is separate, but connected to MySpace. Unfortunately, the details are incredibly vague. So far, it seems to say that the new company will "let people listen to tunes and watch videos for free on the Web, as well as buy merchandise, concert tickets, and music through downloads." That's a pretty broad description, and while it sounds good upfront, execution is everything. And, historically, the major labels haven't
executed particularly well when it comes to creating online music offerings. Already, it seems like they're hedging
by saying that they're not committed to offering DRM-free music from this service. In fact, it often seems like these efforts are designed to fail. So, let's take this as a tentative step in the right direction, though with the expectation that the labels will likely do something to screw this up along the way. At the very least, it's the labels recognizing they need to change -- even if they still haven't come to terms with how to actually change.