When News Corp bought MySpace back in 2005, it couldn't have predicted the social network's current plight. Once the most popular social networking site, MySpace is now an eyesore in News Corp's portfolio. Just as rumors and denials of a possible sale abound, talk of MySpace Music, a hitherto free music service, switching to a paid model is picking up.
According to a Cnet report, quoting an unnamed source, MySpace Music execs are considering a subscription-based revenue model and have already discussed the idea with major labels. The ad-backed service is said to be reeling under the weight of streaming royalties and haemorrhaging money at an alarming pace.
Courtney Holt, MySpace Music president, was quick to rubbish such rumors when contacted by Cnet. "We're always exploring new monetization opportunities, but have no plans to change our current service which includes streaming free music," Holt said.
Although major ABC shows are reported to be at the heart of the discussions, the sources haven’t ruled out the possibility of the talks being expanded to include more content from Disney’s stable. Hulu is a joint venture between NBC Universal and News Corp with each having a 45% stake. A source has revealed that one of the arrangements being discussed is to allow Disney to be on equal footing with the two majority stakeholders.
Meanwhile, Disney and Youtube have struck a deal paving the way for ad-backed Youtube channels featuring videos from Disney and ESPN. These video channels will only be available in the U.S and won’t feature entire shows from the Disney stable. The ESPN channel and the ABC channel are scheduled to go live in April and May respectively. But, according to another paidcontent.org report, Disney’s deal with Youtube will not affect its talks with Hulu.