Major Record Labels Form Joint Venture With MySpace

from the to-do-what-exactly? dept

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.

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  • identicon
    Jake, 3 Apr 2008 @ 12:59pm

    If they're smart, they'll make it free to listen or watch but charge for downloading, hopefully without a ridiculous mark-up; let people play ten thousand songs in a shuffle through their browser and it'll pay for itself in ad revenue before they even sell a single track.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    mike allen, 3 Apr 2008 @ 3:08pm

    a step in the right direction but DRM wont work if they infest it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bill, 3 Apr 2008 @ 3:53pm

    If they want this to work...

    If they really want this to work...
    1. They need to keep the purchased/downloaded songs DRM-free like Amazon and many of the new offerings from iTunes.
    2. They need to NOT charge for the "listen online" service and only charge for the DRM-free downloads.
    3. They need to use a standard music format like MP3 that can be used on ANY music player with any media application. And they need to include album artwork.
    4. The price, quite frankly, needs to beat Amazon and iTunes. I could see a DRM-free, high sample-rate MP3 track selling like hotcakes for $0.79. Seriously.

    If they fail to do ANY of those four things, there will be NO compelling reason for anyone to ever download a single song. Zero. Nada. Particularly considering the vast majority of people are already entrenched in using iTunes or Amazon.

    If they finally learn to put the needs of the consumer first, I may even drop my boycott of buying new music and start purchasing again. I own 700 CD's, all of which were purchased prior to the start of my boycott about 8 years ago. I stopped my habit of buying a couple CD's every week after reading about the RIAA legislative lobbying efforts and seeing their insane push for DRM. I informed and encouraged everyone I know to do the same.

    Who knows? If they do this right, I might even take down the multitude of links I have accumulated on my personal web site asking people to boycott the RIAA (and MPAA) members and pointing to all the published articles about how self-centered, greedy, and power-crazed they are with their insane levels of legislative lobbying, buying congressmen, and treating paying customers like criminals. Their treatment of their loyal customers these past 10 years was just as illogical as if Walmart decided to arrest all of their customers nationwide because they suspected a few of them might have stolen something worth 50 cents.

    They seriously could save a fortune by firing the teams of lawyers and lobbyists and just servicing their customers fairly. They might even win back all of their previously loyal customers like me who have felt betrayed and been bitterly angry at them for the past decade because they treated us like criminals after we spent so much money on their products.

    So now, let's just sit back and see if the RIAA members' overwhelming greed and stupidity compells them to shoot themselves in the foot once again. What they really need is a HUGE turnover of upper management with young replacements who grasp the concept that the music world has radically changed and they better evolve faster or they will soon become extinct.

    The MPAA folks should watch this process closely because without a doubt they are next. The writing is on the wall.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 4 Apr 2008 @ 12:28am

      Re: If they want this to work...

      Yep, it's going to be interesting to see if they can work out something people will actually want to use this time. Let's see:

      "let people listen to tunes and watch videos for free on the Web, as well as buy merchandise, concert tickets, and music through downloads."

      So, it'll be a combination of YouTube,, and Amazon. If they can combine the DRM-free nature and the ease of all 4 of those sites and a decent recommendation engine, it'll be great. Otherwise, it'll fail. Miserably.

      The big problem for the RIAA now is that while their core business model has been failing, all the good ideas have been tried by 3rd parties, so they can't do anything new. They just have to realise that their packaging matters, and people have come to recognise that the turds they've been trying to gift wrap for us are just turds.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      cheekbrown, 10 Apr 2008 @ 1:00pm

      Re: If they want this to work...

      Reading your comment was educational. Please send your web-address so I can learn more.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2008 @ 6:05pm

    What will it be called

    MyAfiaa ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    mike allen, 4 Apr 2008 @ 5:53am

    only majors

    no indie labels and no composers no independent bands mybe myspace will prevent unknown bands from posting music on my space.
    in other words power grab from major labels with NO-ONE else allowed in as the majors own it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      cheekbrown, 10 Apr 2008 @ 1:08pm

      Re: only majors

      My point exactly. They've found a way to pump money into MySpace. This is how they bought the radio stations, record stores, and brick-and-mortar distribution.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Reef About, 7 Apr 2008 @ 10:48pm

    Not a good attempt

    The music labels are loosing massive ground and revenue and yet still persist to gain control. They are the middle man with a good name but that is fading.
    This is another attempt to 'understand' the consumer but all the consumer wants is to listen to their favourite music. Why not embrace new technology? I believe the only reason music lovers go to the illegal website is to use something that is easy. Not because it is free. OK there will be a small amount of retards who steal music but real fans want to pay but they have no means to do this easily. MySpace is not easy. It is clunky, old school and the music labels are just an agency... all gloss and glam without the brains.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    cheekbrown, 10 Apr 2008 @ 12:42pm


    You can't put it past them. They've bought radio airplay, record store shelf space, and brick-and-mortar distribution, while shutting out indie artists. It's hard not to be suspicious of their intentions. Myspace is a Godsend to indie artists. Let's keep it that way.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Kris Jackson, 19 May 2008 @ 10:42am

    Major record label & Myspace Deal

    Major labels are in a 'no win' situation because pandora's box has been open years with illegal music downloads and file sharing. The best thing for the majors to do is allow people to browse all music files for listening purposes while on myspace in hopes that the potential consumer might purchase music threw it. In these times that individual countries have over 1-billion illegal downloads happening per year there is no stopping it. People are getting more accustom towards FREE music so when we enter a time that a single song is only selling for $0.99 cent and ring tones are still able to generate more money selling for $2.99. People must understand that there is something serious wrong with the whole music industry in these times. Unless a Major Record label can generate money from the artist threw live show venues from a percentage basis. Major record labels will soon be extinct like the dinosaur.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    WACHY, 23 Dec 2008 @ 1:33am

    im getting signed

    Im getting signed off of myspace check my tracks

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    S.C.U PRODUCTION, 14 Jan 2009 @ 12:15am


    ARTIST,,, C ME / S.C.


    @ MYSPACE.



    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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