When we first reported Feb. 15 on News Corp’s (NYSE: NWS) plans for a MySpace music JV with the major labels a la Hulu, none of the labels were on board but we were told to expect at least one signing within a matter of weeks — the idea being that signing one could start a domino effect. Now the NY Post, a News Corp sibling, is reporting that Warner Music Group (NYSE: WMG) and Sony (NYSE: SNE) BMG may be first up, with agreements that could be signed as soon as this week as talks progress with a sense of “urgency.” Sounds like Universal and EMI may be feeling a little less urgent; then again, the situation with Universal is complicated its copyright suit against MySpace over viral video.
Some more details from the Post’s “person familiar with the negotiations”:
– Jamba, News Corp’s mobile JV with VeriSign (NSDQ: VRSN) would be involved with a MySpace Music on the commerce side.
– The labels would hold less than 50 percent, which fits in with what we told earlier about MySpace mainiting operational control. In Hulu, News Corp and NBC Universal (NYSE: GE) share jointly as equity partners. “Just how large a piece each label gets in MySpace Music will be determined by market share, sources said.”
– The concept is meant to be a mix of pay-per-download and ad-supported video and audio. (We should have made it clearer from the start that this wasn’t just about one form of delivery.)