MySpace Music Initiative Announced; Three Majors On Board

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MySpace Music officially announced itself Thursday morning with blessings from majors Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, and Sony BMG.

The tie-up, billed a “landmark joint venture,” will include DRM-free downloads, ad-supported audio and video streaming, a mobile storefront powered by Jamba, and “various sponsorship solutions.”  Artist-related assets like merchandise and concert tickets will also be part of the action, and collateral will be integrated within individual artist profile pages.

MySpace users are already familiar with MySpace Music as an umbrella for anything music-related within the site, including band profiles.  But the new commerce-driven initiative, a stand-alone venture, reportedly involves equity stakes for the majors involved.  Moreover, the venture allows the labels to participate in a broader portfolio of assets, instead of just recordings.

It remains unclear when standout EMI will jump into the fold, though an announcement is expected in the near-term.  That, along with deals involving various independent labels, is part of an iterative launch schedule that will span several months, according to the network.

Outside of EMI, a number of dangling questions remain.  That includes the price of paid downloads, and the possibility of a paid subscription offering.  MySpace Music currently has more than 30 million unique monthly visitors, and 5 million band profiles, according to the company.