January 25, 2010

MySpace Helping Artists Gain Lost Royalties

MySpace is now helping to pay back millions of dollars in "lost" royalties to artist for songs and performances.

MySpace CEO Owen van Natta said Sunday the company has signed a deal with performance rights group SoundExchange to track down 25,000 major, independent and unsigned artists that are owed over $14 million in unpaid royalties.

"The money will be put into escrow as we search for the acts," he said at the opening of the MIDEM industry trade fair, his first speech outside the United States.

Van Natta said he plans to use MySpace as a platform to put the artists in touch with SoundExchange, which is a non-profit performance rights organization that collects royalties from the streaming of music on Internet/satellite radio on behalf of sound recording copyright owners.

The companies announced in a press release that the deal opens up a new and effective way of contacting artists that register with MySpace, but not with SoundExchange.

"It can be a challenge notifying and convincing artists to register with SoundExchange because they don't know they're entitled to these royalties, or believe it's too good to be true," said SoundExchange senior executive Bryan Calhoun.

Van Natta has helped MySpace grow into a music powerhouse.  He said he and his team have worked to make it easier for users to find new music and share tracks.

MySpace Music has over 180 million playlists created by users, which is now the largest advertising-supported music business on the Web, according to van Natta.

MySpace has helped launched the career of artists such as British-born sensation Lily Allen.

The music pages on MySpace offer the ability to keep up with an artist tour dates, as well as listen to music and watch videos.


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