MySpace Music is set to launch sometime next week. It will offer free streams of full-length tracks from all the major labels, legitimizing the advertising-supported model that is beginning to challenge iTunes’ pay-per-download approach. It will be more akin to a subscription model like Rhapsody’s, but without the subscription.
The big unanswered question is whether MySpace Music will pay music labels lower prices (or simply accept a share of MySpace Music’s revenues). The music industry desperately needs a new digital business model. There is no question about that. But if the labels are going to allow MySpace Music to pay less per stream or not at all, and they themselves are joint venture partners in MySpace Music, that will open them up to charges of preferential pricing, collusion, and price discrimination.
Read more at TechCrunch.