Monday, October 20, 2008

MySpace remains Murdoch's space

More grim news for the major labels. When MySpace Music launched, the labels gambled against taking a big cash payment upfront, settling instead for an equity share. They believed that News Corp would swiftly spin-off the service through a share deal, and suddenly the equity slice would be worth massive money.

Trouble is, News Corp has thunk again, and is thinking that the messy business of trying to sell MySpace Music as something distinct from MySpace is too much effort and, with a billion tracks already streamed from the service, there doesn't seem to be much point in flogging off a goose when they don't need any help getting it to lay golden eggs.

Sure, labels still have their equity stake - but if they were expecting to be able to cash it in for massive sums, they're going to be disappointed.

Someone else who won't be too thrilled: Facebook, who are currently trying to cook up a Facebook Music service. It seems unlikely the labels will be keen to play the same, cheap hand a second time; not while their fingers are still burning. Music on Facebook is going to cost the company a big wedge.

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