Royalties said to be busting internet music


News Corp. is working hard to monetize its internet social site MySpace. Part of that project hinges on its MySpace Music offering, an “on-demand, ad-supported” listening service, according to But the site can’t keep up with royalty payments.

News Corp. digital executive Jon Miller said at a conference that MySpace Music is doing OK on an operational basis but is not a profitable business because it can’t keep up with royalty premiums.

Now, according to, News Corp. is considering the acquisition of a free music streaming site called imeem, one that has been having its own financial difficulties. Again royalty payments have been a huge challenge to meet. The site is said to have run out of funding over the past year.

RBR-TVBR observation: Some internet music operators have been supporting PRA in order to level the playing field with radio. That has proven to be an incredibly short-sighted wish – they should have been fighting the royalties all along.

Meanwhile, the music industry is apparently working toward a model under which no music is played anywhere.

As the labels dry up music sources on the internet and drive radio stations into non-music formats, they will not be earning any royalties. Nor will they be promoting their product. It’s a strategy without a future.

Smart musicians are already taking the labels out of the equation and taking control of their own futures. It seems to us that the really smart musicians are going to figure out ways to get their music before the public.

One good way is touring, but that limits a musician to one venue with limited seating in only one town at a time.

So they might very well start making the music available for free to as many promotional outlets as possible so they get wide exposure and generate sales. Kind of like how radio works now…