At launch, repertoire from top independents including Koch, Beggars Group and Domino will missing from MySpace Music. Their trade group Merlin, whose members make up 9% of the US digital music market (equivalent to EMI) is still in negotiations with the social networker's new music destination. The hold up is not payments, but rather getting an equity share as the four major labels have.
“It is incredibly disappointing that MySpace will launch their new service without having finalized a deal with...
the world’s most important independent labels and artists. It certainly makes (MySpace CEO) Chris DeWolfe’s public statements, that the 'indie bands are really the heart of MySpace', ring extremely hollow," states Merlin CEO Charles Caldas
“What is absolutely clear, however, is that any independent deal struck without an equity component (as was done with the majors), will see independent labels face a situation whereby their major competitors will profit from the use of their repertoire without an appropriate upside opportunity being extended to them by MySpace Music and its major label equity partners."
“Whilst Merlin continues our negotiations, we remain extremely concerned that with MySpace Music the major record labels are acting not only as competitors, but through their equity stakes in the venture, as the clients/end user as well. Without an equitable participation by independents, that creates a situation that is both unhealthy and dangerous."