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Updated: MySpace: First Licensing Deal With Major Label, Sharing Revs With Sony BMG; Skype?

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We’ve been hearing for a while about intense efforts within MySpace to explore new approaches and business models when it comes to music. Music powered MySpace to prominence and it’s key to fueling growth in terms of users and money. The latest step: a U.S. licensing pact with Sony (NYSE: SNE) BMG Music Entertainment announced today. The deal, its first with a major label, includes music video, “select audio material” and “other content” that will be available on Sony BMG artists’ MySpace pages. The two companies will share sponsorship and ad revenues generated by the music videos and profile pages. Release.

MySpace faces serious competition in music. Not only is much of the material offered by labels becoming ubiquitous through a host of licensing deals, as we reported earlier this month, Facebook is planning a late 2007 launch of an artist platform it hopes will outstrip MySpace. It includes a tie-up with Apple, something we heard was also in the works for MySpace but have been told by a source familiar with the situation that is not the case.

Update: Looks like MySpace is also adding Skype to its IM client. *CNET* reports the two have a deal will announce a deal Wednesday to use Skype with MySpaceIM. MySpace users will be able to link their profiles to Skype accounts and will be able to place calls using Skype through the IM app. Private profiles will be exempt from non-friend calls. The service will be available in the 20 countries where MySpace is localized. “Only” 25 million of MySpace’s 110 million active users have downloaded the IM client, according to

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