Live: MySpace Music Call: DRM-free Downloads, International Plans And More

imageWaiting for the MySpace Music call to begin … In the meantime, some details on what is being billed as a “global initiative that will include a 360 music experience”:

— downloads will be DRM-free; video and audio streaming will be ad-supported

— e-commerce will include merchandise and ticketing

— the mobile storefront will be powered by News Corp-Verisign JV Jamba, think ringtones,.

— Roll out will take place over months

— As expected, Sony (NYSE: SNE) BMG, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group (NYSE: WMG) are on board.

Call on: MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe: “It’s an unprecedented effort .. truly history in the making, a real collaborative effort between MySpace and the music companies.” More in extended entry

History lesson: This announcement today really builds on MySpace’s four-year history.” This really isn’t new, it’s a progression.” With 30 million uniques monthly and 5 million bands on the site “we’re not starting from scratch, it’s a big heads start.” A new chapter in the history of modern music …modern music is about taking it to the people. “It’s our vision for the music business.”

Deep dive: MySpace COO Amit Kapur: Will center on MySpace Music home page, User home pages and artist profiles. Will add digital DRM-free downloads, a mobile content solution .. will also be creating new monetization models. … MySpace Music is not just for major music companies, but will be ways for unsigned artists to sign on.

As we reported, they’ll be hiring an executive management team.


— No EMI? Up to EMI to explain.

— we’ll be layering on lots of community features from the recommendation engine — sharing playlists, etc.

— international? Plan to role out international as possible. complicated.

— Revenue model? We’re not going to discuss any of the specifics on the financial terms …

— Competition from Facebook, others? We have 30 million users …

— Pricing? Competitive with iPod?: Kapur: Not talking about the specifics on pricing but going to be very competitive. And they know they’re playing to an iPod-dominated base. DeWolfe: “Our intent is to make this content very portable and to give our users access to the content in the format that they want. To whatever extent we can leverage our environment via iPods, we’ll look to do that.”

— Timetable? As noted above, it’s going to take place over the next few months. On the call they stressed over and over that there already is a MySpace Music today, while describing the new features as an “iterative process.”

— Ad supported? On the idea that they could actually do a business in ad-supported music — the questioner brought up SpiralFrog — DeWolfe argued they were best positioned to pull it off: “We pride ourselves in having a core competency not only in ad sales but in ad sales technology.”

JV partners: For some odd reason, as we reported earlier, the labels aren’t on the call — a bit unusual for a JV announcement. Instead, MySpace issued prepared comments from Sony BMG’s CEO Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, UMG Chairman and CEO Doug Morris,, and WMG Chairman and CEO Edgar Bronfman, Jr.

See here for the full announcement and the statements from executives.