More details are emerging on MySpace Music. They aren’t pretty.
Despite MySpace’s indie bona fides — dude, can we sleep on your floor? — the new MySpace Music is not independent. It is, rather, a play to limit access to distribution. Unlike the egalitarian iTunes, MySpace Music excludes independents from the table while granting the major labels an equity stake.
That’s right, ownership. Although Amit Kapur, COO of MySpace, wouldn’t confirm it yesterday, independent distributor The Orchard let it slip in a blast email this morning.
Sound familiar? Shut out challengers, marginalize competition, control the flow of music to the consumer.
A strength of the Internet is, of course, its unfettered access to things large and small. Apple knows it, Amazon knows it. Yet the major labels still see independents as barbarians at their gate. What they don’t seem to understand is that the gate has been open for ten years now, and it’s not in their power to close it.
Whether or not the major labels MySpace Music will operate (and compensate) transparently remains to be seen. However, by excluding independents from active participation — and controlling their access to the channel — we can only ask:
Haven’t we seen this movie before?
Yep. And it was crummy the first time.