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MySpace Music Is Anti-Competitive, Indies Say, Seeking Equity Stake

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Merlin, the new “fifth major” label representing independents with nine percent of US digital music sales, has blasted MySpace Music for allowing the Big Four to profit at indies’ expense.

The site, which launched this week, is a JV with EMI, Universal, WMG and Sony (NYSE: SNE) in which the majors earn advertising revenue based on their equity stake. But the site launched without repertoire from Merlin members like Beggars Group and Domino, representing the likes of Franz Ferdinand and The Kills.

Merlin CEO Charles Caldas: “Any independent deal struck without an equity component (as was done with the majors), will see independent labels face a situation whereby their major competitors will profit from the use of their repertoire, without an appropriate upside opportunity being extended to them.

One Response to “MySpace Music Is Anti-Competitive, Indies Say, Seeking Equity Stake”

  1. Surely the heart of MySpace and much internet music discovery has been down to indie labels, so to announce a launch without mention of their involvement or share seems incredible. At We7, we started our ad-funded service with content from indie labels and have continued to increase this, most recently with a deal struck three weeks ago with [PIAS]. We also now have deals with major labels but the indies' catalogues have been integral to our content and a major part of what makes We7 a realistic and easier alternative to music consumers than file-sharing.

    Steve Purdham
    CEO – We7