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MySpace Helps Musicians Sell Out

MySpace has just given musicians the potential to make a little money through the social network. But it won't be any Apple.

News Corp., the parent company of MySpace, today announced a partnership with Snocap to provide digital music retail tools for MySpace users.

Snocap provides digital music technology and services to companies such as Universal Mucis Group, Warner Music Group, Sony, EMI and One Little Indian Records.

The services will enable artists and labels with registered content to set pricing, create stores, and sell their music in MP3 format.

Artists will also be able to provide fans with HTML code to create their own stores on their profile pages, according to a statement.

That way they'll be able to hawk music for their very favorite bands, though without a cut.

It's the first music e-commerce deal for both companies, and JupiterKagan research analyst David Card told internetnews.com the partnership will result in "a cool service," that solves distribution problems for small artists.

Specifically, Card said that the deal will help bring a large audience to the music, satisfy most licensing issues, and ensure that the music will be playable on the most popular digital music players, such as the iPod.

"But users won't make money off it and neither will MySpace," he said.

Card said that the problem starts with the overall music downloads business.

According to his research, the money spent on song downloads only accounts for 2 percent to 3 percent of the money spent on albums.

Besides, Apple already dominates the market for music downloads with its iTunes Music Store.

Card added that the MySpace music store will not rival iTunes, because while iTunes has all hits, the music sold on MySpace will all be a part of the so-called "long tail."

"And I haven't seen a music download business succeed at that yet," Card said.

The music service is expected to be available in the U.S. by the end of the year, according to the statement.