MySpace Music Expands Content

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

The new partners are 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 recent digital distribution deal with Sony Music Entertainment.

MySpace Music has added “several hundred thousand” tracks to the MySpace Music catalog and the new deals now bring the total number of indie partners to seven.

The service still lacks a licensing deal with Merlin, a collection of 12,000 indie labels which has been a vocal opponent of the business terms offered by MySpace. In particular, Merlin and others complain that the major labels are given equity stakes 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 competitors.

However, MySpace maintains that 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.

“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,” said MySpace Music president Courtney Holt. “We are thrilled to have our new partners on board and will continue our aggressive content acquisition efforts.”