Tuesday, September 05, 2006

MySpace Will Open Digital Music Store



copyright Reuters / NYT.com
Published: September 2, 2006

MySpace, the popular online community site, said yesterday that it would make its first move into the digital music business by selling songs from nearly three million unsigned bands. (...)

“The goal is to be one of the biggest digital music stores out there,” the co-founder of MySpace, Chris DeWolfe, said. “Everyone we’ve spoken to definitely wants an alternative to iTunes and the iPod. MySpace could be that alternative.” (...)

By the end of the year, Mr. DeWolfe said, MySpace will offer independent bands that have not signed with a record label a chance to sell their music on the site. MySpace says it has nearly three million bands showcasing their music.

Songs can be sold on the bands’ MySpace pages and on fan pages, in MP3 digital file format, which works on most digital players including Apple’s market-dominating iPod.

The bands will decide how much to charge for each song after accounting for MySpace’s distribution fee, said Rusty Rueff, the chief executive of Snocap, which will manage the service.

Snocap provides digital licensing and copyright management services and was started by the founder of Napster, Shawn Fanning. Mr. Rueff said the “small” distribution fee was not yet fixed.

EMI, the Universal Music Group, the Warner Music Group and Sony BMG own about 75 percent of mainstream popular music. Most of this music is available only on MySpace for live streaming as a promotion.

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