Digital Music

Orchard Voices MySpace Music Concerns

DIGITAL MUSIC IN TRANSITION

Read Part 1: Turmoil In Digital Music Distribution here.Myspace_music

Part 2: One of the largest digital music distributors, The Orchard, has expressed concerns about MySpace Music and the deal being offered – or not offered – to independent artists and labels.

In an email to labels and artists obtained by Hypebot, CEO Greg Scholl expressed an understanding of how important MySpace was for many indies and the revenue opportunity it could present.  But Scholl also expressed concerns about how fairly his clients may be treated:

Orchard
"…it is unclear whether and how the equity the participating major labels
received will be shared by them with their artists, or with the
independent labels they simply distribute…To our understanding, independents have not been offered any equity.

"… Digital retail is fairer than physical brick-and-mortar retail ever was.  iTunes …helped to shift music industry dynamics towards a more level playing field…In that light, if reports are true, the apparent MySpace licensing approach is troubling.  It hearkens back to a time none of us wants to revisit … Where independent artists and labels were third-class citizens in the global music economy…"

COMMENTARY: Scholl is right to be concerned with how indies may be treated in an environment controlled by News Corp owned MySpace and the major labels.  But given the fickle nature of MySpace’s customers, they do so at their own peril. Only if MySpace is a fair and open eco-system will music – major or indie – thrive within it.

Not convinced? Remember the SNOCAP pricing furor that kept many artists away and in part led to the once rising star being sold this week to imeem. 

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1 Comment

  1. Hi Bruce,
    Interesting article. I agree that Scholl has reason to be concerned by the latest development between labels and MySpace, but at the same time the changes in the music distribution are driven by consumer demand so it may be that labels are left little choice but to embrace new channels.
    It would be hard for Newscorp’s MySpace to play outside the realm of fairness, as other music distribution services are increasingly gaining competitive edge. As for We7, it’s our aim to offer services that both labels and artists can benefit from, and by that, I mean paying all artists per download regardless of their status.
    Steve Purdham – CEO of We7
    http://www.we7.com

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