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Independents Lash Out At MySpace Music

The Financial Times reports that independent music labels are hitting out at MySpace following the launch of MySpace Music. Most of the content on the revamped site is being supplied by the music industry's big four: EMI, Universal Music, Sony BMG and Warner Music. In an interview with the FT, Charles Caldas, CEO of Merlin, which represents independent labels and 9% of the U.S. digital-recorded music market, expressed disappointment at not being included in the joint venture.

"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," Caldas said, particularly because MySpace "built its brand" on independent music. He added that the big four record labels were not "culturally aligned" with the site and that not doing a deal with the independents excluded "a large part of its core constituency."

For its part, MySpace claims that it, "offered a relationship with Merlin that provides equal opportunities to Merlin's labels and artists that we have provided to all labels and artists", although the talks have gone nowhere. Merlin consists of 12,000 labels including Beggars Group, Rough Trade, Domino, Warp Records and Koch. Simon Wheeler, head of digital at Beggars Group, also called the MySpace Music exclusion a "kick in the teeth."

Read the whole story at Financial Times »

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