As rumored for weeks, Courtney Holt has been appointed the President of MySpace Music. Holt will relocate from his NYC MTV office to new digs in LA beginning January 5th. In the meantime, you can friend him of his very own MySpace page.
Holt could probably use a few friends in the independent music community. MySpace Music got off to a rough star with indies when the service, which in many ways was built on the backs of independent musicians, launched without offering them the same equity stake that it used to lure the majors. Like a bride left at the alter, many indies cried foul. "It certainly makes (MySpace CEO) Chris DeWolfe’s public statements, that the 'indie bands are really the heart of MySpace', ring extremely hollow," indie trade group Merlin CEO Charles Caldas said on launch day.
Since then, The Orchard, IODA and a few others have forgone equity and signed on. But thousands of labels represented by Merlin including many larger indies like Beggars and Koch have yet to make deals. MySpace Music has also not offered a d.i.y. sales or income solution for artists not affiliated with a label or distributor.
Could new leadership offer new hope for independent music on MySpace? On the surface, Holt's resume at MTV Networks and as SVP of New Media at Interscope Geffen A&M suggests that his point of view is decidedly mainstream and major label. But indies, who have privately complained about the pace of negotitions, will at least know that someone who understands music is finally in control.