MySpace music partnerships take on Apple iTunes

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As the music industry struggles to stay alive in a digital world, News Corp.'s MySpace has signed a new partnership with Universal Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group to create a new online destination for purchasing music called MySpace Music.

MySpace has been a popular destination for both independent music artists and big name artists to market their new music and concert schedules. According to the plan, the records labels will be posting their entire digital music catalogs to MySpace's music site, where visitors can preview and download songs. It is expected to go live later this year.

“We believe that one of the greatest growth opportunities for our industry is to develop new partnerships and models focused on unlocking the value of music in the online community space,” said Edgar Bronfman Jr., chairman/CEO of Warner Music Group, in a press release.

This comes on the heels of Apple announcing that its iTunes Store surpassed Wal-Mart to become the number one music retailer in the US. Citing data from market research firm NPD Group's MusicWatch survey, Apple reported last week that the iTunes Store became the largest music retailer in the US based on the amount of music sold during January and February 2008. According to Apple, in its lifetime, iTunes has sold more than 4 billion songs and features the world's largest music catalog at more than 6 million songs.

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