DIGITAL MUSIC IN TRANSITION
Read Part 1: Turmoil In Digital Music Distribution here.
Part 2: One of the largest digital music distributors, The Orchard, has expressed concerns about MySpace Music and the deal being offered - or not offered - to independent artists and labels.
In an email to labels and artists obtained by Hypebot, CEO Greg Scholl expressed an understanding of how important MySpace was for many indies and the revenue opportunity it could present. But Scholl also expressed concerns about how fairly his clients may be treated:
"...it is unclear whether and how the equity the participating major labels received will be shared by them with their artists, or with the independent labels they simply distribute...To our understanding, independents have not been offered any equity.
"... Digital retail is fairer than physical brick-and-mortar retail ever was. iTunes ...helped to shift music industry dynamics towards a more level playing field...In that light, if reports are true, the apparent MySpace licensing approach is troubling. It hearkens back to a time none of us wants to revisit ... Where independent artists and labels were third-class citizens in the global music economy..."
COMMENTARY: Scholl is right to be concerned with how indies may be treated in an environment controlled by News Corp owned MySpace and the major labels. But given the fickle nature of MySpace's customers, they do so at their own peril. Only if MySpace is a fair and open eco-system will music - major or indie - thrive within it.
Not convinced? Remember the SNOCAP pricing furor that kept many artists away and in part led to the once rising star being sold this week to imeem.