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MySpace Plans Record Label

November 03, 2005|Charles Duhigg | Times Staff Writer

MySpace.com, the hip Internet site that succeeded in getting the eyeballs of America's youths, now wants their ears.

The company today plans to launch MySpace Records in a venture with Universal Music Group's Interscope Records. First up will be MySpace Records Volume I, in stores Nov. 15.

MySpace.com is a social networking site that also allows users to watch videos and listen to music. Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. paid $580 million in July to acquire the site's corporate parent, Intermix Media Inc.

MySpace plans to use the data it collects by observing its 36 million users to find undiscovered acts, said MySpace President and Chief Editorial Director Tom Anderson, who will oversee the new label.

Since News Corp. bought MySpace, skeptics have warned that ownership by a big media company could hurt the maverick image MySpace cultivated.

"They have to be really careful that people don't feel like a corporate giant is pushing music on them," said Chris Lombardi, head of independent label Matador Records.

MySpace executives said they would make sure that the site's editorial content wasn't biased toward their own bands.

The label expects to sign about five groups over the next year.

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