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MySpace Shares Some Equity Plans. Bands Beware…

BEVERLY HILLS (Hypebot) – Co-founder Chris DeWolfe shared some details of MySpace's move into music in a Wired interview, but failed to reveal exactly how revenues will be shared with indie labels and offered only bad news for unaffiliated musicians.

When asked if MySpace's equity sharing would extend to distributors like The Orchard and IODA, DeWolfe said, "We're open to extending our equity deals to the right partners, but at a certain point, you can't extend equity to everyone." Does that mean there will be a tiered system with only larger aggregators receiving equity? And is MySpace offering distributors equity like the majors or a just share of ad revenue?

Unaffiliated indies and acts are completely left out. "We don't really have the mechanism right now to develop an affiliate program or a payout structure for millions and millions of bands," said DeWolfe. If MySpace doesn't have a mechanism; it’s because they don't want one. Thousands of affiliate and revenue sharing programs exist across the net.

Listening Post's Eliot Van Buskirk suggests, "If you're an indie artist on MySpace, it's time to start shopping around for an aggregator…It's the only way you're going to re-level the playing field and get the same treatment MySpace accords the major labels." But will a share of equity offset the fees charged by the aggregator? And are they really getting a deal that equals the majors?

And by the way… Hey, MySpace! How much are you charging for downloads and exactly how much of that are you keeping?