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MySpace lauches online music venture

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Online social networking giant MySpace has announced that they have started their own online music venture in an effort to promote independent and unsigned artists as well as compilations that include top groups from other labels.

MySpace Music is a joint venture with Interscope Records, but Vivendi’s Universal Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group all have a minority stake in the venture.

When asked about the launch date, Chris De Wolfe, chief executive of MySpac, said that the launch date was “fluid” and features will be added little by little over the next three to four months.

Now that Apple is the largest music retailer, the various record labels are scrambling to find a way to take some of Apple’s market dominance away. Thomas Hesse, Sony BMG president of global digital business, said that MySpace Music “gives a great new lease of life for the download market.”

The new service will offer free music and video streaming supported by advertising, paid MP3 files, ringtones, concert ticket sales and merchandise. No subscription service has been mentioned yet but Heese says that a “premium subscription” service was possible but it would be up to MySpace to make that decision.

[Via Reuters]

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