UMG, MySpace Negotiating Table Starts to Rumble

Universal Music Group and MySpace are close to finalizing their ongoing negotiations, according to sources close to the discussions.

An announcement is now “imminent,” according to one source to Digital Music News, but executives stressed the fragility of the process.  “They’re trying to work through a complicated negotiation to make the litigation go away,” one source said, referring to a longstanding lawsuit filed by Universal Music Group in 2006.

Executives were vague on specifics, in part to insulate the negotiations from outside influence.  But media coverage of discussions between MySpace, Universal Music Group, and other major labels has been heavy, and news of similar Facebook negotiations is only intensifying the process.   According to one source, the Facebook talks are motivating MySpace to push the deal forward, and various stakeholders are orchestrating media leaks to propel their agendas.

The upcoming announcement could include aspects related to Total Music, a Universal Music Group concept that ties music access into monthly or bundled packages.  That includes the bundling of music content into devices, ISP accounts, and subscription-based offerings.