MySpace Music Expands Offering

MySpace Music has added content from five larger independent labels and indie music distributor, four months after its September launch.

The new partners include Nettwerk Music Group, INgrooves, IRIS Distribution and RoyaltyShare, as well as Wind-Up Records, which the service gains as a result of the label's digital distribution deal with Sony Music Entertainment, announced earlier this week.

The company it has added "several hundred thousand" tracks to the MySpace Music catalog and the new deals now bring the number of indie partners to seven, when including the Orchard and IODA, which were announced at launch.

MySpace Music still lacks a licensing deal with Merlin, a collection of 12,000 indie labels which has been a vocal opponent of the business terms MySpace offers indie labels. In particular, Merlin and others complain that the major labels were offered an equity stake in the MySpace Music joint venture, while independent labels are not. This, they say, effectively means they are being asked to license their music to a service operated by their competitors.

However MySpace says it remains committed to the independent music community, which has emerged as a major supporter of the social network. With a focus on music discovery and sharing, independent music is considered essential to the value of the new service. The company says additional indie licensing deal are on the horizon.

"These important new partnerships will allow the MySpace Music community to access even more of their favorite independent music while enabling monetization opportunities for the newly licensed artists," says Courtney Holt, president of MySpace Music, in a statement. "We are thrilled to have our new partners on board and will continue our aggressive content acquisition efforts."

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