Indie Labels

Merlin Cries Foul: No MySpace Equity = No Deal

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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."

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2 Comments

  1. MySpace has long been playing the game of monopoly with record labels and artists. This is a site that, when you login, major labels are putting their UNKNOWN SIGNED artists on the “INDIE ARTISTS” charts to help grab those die hard fans who are down with the indie struggle.
    It’s MySpace Monopoly, which is why I don’t bother marketing on MySpace. Major labels always “Pass Go and Collecting $200,” while indies “Go To Jail and Do Not Pass Go/Do Not Collect $200.” It’s similar to John McCain vs Barak Obama…and if the industry wants to CHANGE…it’s time for people who call themselves avid music fans who BUY music, to stand up to the majors and go out and support the indies (i.e. “MERLIN”). Otherwise we won’t see a change in MySpace or any other retailers.

  2. the equity share wouldn’t be a big deal if retailers had not been busted for using ‘Enron’ accounting in the past; this is why the major labels insist on the equity share

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