MySpace, the world's largest social networking site, on Wednesday unveiled a long-expected joint venture with all four major music companies.
In a bid to compete with Apple 's market-leading
iTunes store, MySpace Music is designed to win fans
with a mix of unlimited free music, comprehensive
music catalogs, concert tickets, merchandising and
other entertainment features.
The biggest challenge for the new venture was
signing a deal with the fourth-largest music company
MySpace Music also signed late licensing deals with
The Orchard, a large distributor of independent
music from hundreds of small labels and music
publisher Sony/ATV, a joint venture between Sony
Corp and pop star Michael Jackson.
In April, MySpace confirmed it agreed to create a
joint venture with Vivendi's Universal Music Group,
Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group
The music industry has become frustrated with the
dominance of Apple in the music business through
both iTunes and popular iPod music player.
Music executives have said the refusal of iTunes to
agree to variable pricing, rather than pricing every
song at 99 cents or selling all albums as individual
songs, has harmed sales and their bottomline.
Citing an unamed executive, Reuters reports that one
that the labels would try strategies such as giving
exclusive album releases first to MySpace to help
support the new service in which they now all have a
vested interest in helping to succeed.