The “virtual fifth label” is now friends with MySpace. Merlin, an organization that represents independent music companies, is supposed to have signed a deal with the social network that should nicely complement MySpace’s existing partnerships with EMI, Sony, Universal, and Warner.
Merlin’s association with indie artists and late arrival to the music scene (it launched in January of 2007) set it apart from the so-called Big Four. Just the same, Merlin’s a major force, with members in more than 25 countries, and names like Cat Power, Tom Waits, and The White Stripes linked with it.
So it’s quite noteworthy that, according to Andrew Orlowski, a Merlin spokesman stated, “After more than a year of negotiations, MySpace Music has finally offered Merlin a deal that is acceptable to its members, members who represent 10% of the global music market.”
What’s more, “The same eligibility and level of participation will be offered to all independent labels licensing content to MySpace Music.”
Of course, the details of the arrangement haven’t yet been made public, which leaves a lot of questions unanswered. But it looks like MySpace, which acquired Imeem just yesterday and launched MySpace Music Charts the day before, is really on a roll on the music front.