While we recently touched base about the re-launch of Myspace, the social network and music site which once reigned supreme, currently rumors are being mumbled that the site may be at the beginning of a battle with independent record labels that supply much of its content.
The “new” Myspace, which boasted over 27 million visitors last December, was redesigned to feature the “old Myspace” theme of combining music and social networking. The old version reached its peak of 76 million visitors in 2008. The new attractive design and ability to let users stream music may be what the site needed to work its way back to a top social network selection. But while it initially set out to help new, current and old music artists, some are not all on the same page when it comes to digital music.
According to a recent report by the NY Times, while Myspace boasts the biggest library in digital music — more than 50 million songs, it says — a group representing thousands of small labels says the service is using its members’ music without permission.
Merlin seeks to ensure its members have effective access to new and emerging revenue streams and that their rights are appropriately valued and protected. Charles Caldas, chief executive of Merlin, proclaimed in an interview last Friday that its deal with Myspace expired over a year ago, yet songs from more than 100 of its labels are still available on Myspace, including Beggars Group, Domino and Merge, three of the biggest independents.
“While it’s nice that Mr. Timberlake is launching his service on this platform, and acting as an advocate for the platform,” Mr. Caldas said in the interview, “on the other hand his peers as artists are being exploited without permission and not getting remuneration for it.”
Neda Azarfar, a spokeswoman for Myspace, said the company had decided not to renew its contract with Merlin, and that if songs from its member labels were still on the site, “they were likely uploaded by users” and would be removed if requested by the label.
Source: NY Times