Over a year after its U.S. rollout, MySpace Music has made its long-awaited bow in the United Kingdom, going live at 00.01 U.K. time today (Dec. 3), following a launch gig by U.K. rock band Kasabian at London's Heaven venue.

As with the U.S. service, the platform offers U.K. users free and unlimited ad-supported, full-length audio and music video streaming and unlimited free playlisting. U.K. users will also have the option to download, stream and personalize their music content using the MyMusic management system, as well as purchase DRM-free MP3 music downloads via iTunes.

Significantly, unlike the much-maligned U.S. and Australian launches in 2008, MySpace Music U.K. has the majority of the indie sector on board from day one, following the recent agreement between independent music aggregator Merlin and MySpace Music (Billboard.biz, Nov. 20).

That agreement paved the way for indie labels like the Beggars Group, Cooking Vinyl and Domino, among others, to provide their repertoire to the platform and enables U.K. consumers to access music by artists such as Arctic Monkeys (Domino) and Vampire Weekend (XL Records/Beggars), alongside major label catalog and acts.

Other independent music aggregators that MySpace Music has partnered with for launch include The Orchard, IODA, Nettwerk Music Group, INgrooves, IRIS Distribution, Big Fish Media, RoyaltyShare, Curb and Merge.

Prior to the service making its U.K. bow, an agreement for an online music license was signed between MySpace and U.K. collecting society PRS for Music, guaranteeing PRS for Music songwriters and composers featured on MySpace royalties for their work.

"We're excited to be launching MySpace Music in the U.K.," said MySpace music president Courtney Holt in a statement, calling it "a genuinely innovative service that brings artists and fans closer than ever before."

"MySpace has always had an unrivaled reputation for encouraging the enjoyment, discovery and sharing of music, and this launch concentrates and expands on that distinctive character," Holt continued. "The way people are consuming music has changed dramatically, and we're aiming to develop a next-generation platform that builds a sustainable business for MySpace Music, content licensors and artists, while serving fans in a completely unique way," he went on to say.

A high profile U.K. launch campaign is due to roll out over the coming months featuring a number of international artists. 50 Cent, Alicia Keys, Pixie Lott, Florence & the Machine, David Guetta and Nelly Furtado are among those confirmed by MySpace as participating in the marketing push via interactive films and personal playlists.

Included among the first playlists uploaded to the U.K. service are selections made by Vatican representatives -- featuring tracks by British rock band Muse and U.S. rapper Tupac Shakur, among others -- and U.K. glamour model/TV personality Katie Price.

Artists featured on the site will, meanwhile, have full access to the MySpace Artist Dashboard -- a free tool that provides artists with a range of demographic and social data on their fans.