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Summary:

paidContent has learned that News Corp (NYSE: NWS). is pursuing a music joint venture for MySpace — similar to Hulu, its video joint ventur…

imagepaidContent has learned that News Corp (NYSE: NWS). is pursuing a music joint venture for MySpace — similar to Hulu, its video joint venture with NBC Universal (NYSE: GE), but with variations on the theme. The constant in both instances is content for equity. Under this scheme, MySpace would be the operator with the major music labels — Universal Music Group, *Sony* BMG, Warner Music Group (NYSE: WMG), EMI — as content providers and equity partners. MySpace would be a distributer but, like Hulu, the idea would be a mixed portal-distribution experience. Music would be DRM-free and ad supported. No label has signed yet but a source familiar with the situation said that could change in a matter of weeks. The theory is that once one signs on, the rest will follow. (EMI would seem a likely candidate but Sony (NYSE: SNE) BMG already has an interesting deal with MySpace.) That doesn’t always work but, as Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) has shown, it can.

MySpace, which claims more than 7 million bands with on MySpace Music, has explored and experimented with numerous ways to capture the full value of music to the site, including a recent limited test of ad-supported music downloads. Music has been at the core since the beginning and remains a major driver. Last fall, MySpace and Sony BMG set up a revenue-sharing partnership for sponsorships and ads with the label’s artists

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  1. As well as developing the music channel, I heard they're looking to develop a games channel or 'passion centre' as they might call it. The partnerships / news feeds are obvious – IGN etc. Online gaming opportunities? Super extended user session times?

  2. Why not just buy Imeem?

  3. Yes the comparison to Hulu is disingenuous, there's already a standard to beat in the space and it's called imeem.com

    but myspace have never liked imeem.com, they've banned their widgets for as long as I can remember and for a while you couldn't even *mention* imeem on your myspace page without it getting censored.

  4. MySpace banned them b/c Imeem was born as a music piracy site (something the labels don't appreciate). They have been desperately trying to go legit since they got sued a while back. Their partnership and now recent purchase of SNOCAP are evidence of how badly they want to be considered a legit music company to the industry. Its always hard to take advantage of musicians and labels, and then try to convince them that you are suddenly looking out for their best interest. It just rings hollow, and these are a cynical bunch. But, I guess we live in a society that rewards companies that follow this path (YouTube comes to mind). Start by stealing, get big, go legit, leverage the user base that was built illegally. I does seem to work.

  5. Linda there's a phrase here relating to pots, kettles and the color black.
    Myspace has been called a piracy site by the record labels, myspace tv in particular is overflowing with non-licensed content. and it used to be possible to create a musician account and share music by any artist you liked. This of course is filtered out now, but myspace did very little to stop it until they became big.

    I believer imeem bought snocap because they were using the fingerprinting technology and snocap had essentially run out of VC capital. Imeem became a legitimate contender last year when they started using snocap's filtering, after that warner dropped the lawsuit and signed on.

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