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What if MySpace stopped streaming music for free?

MySpaceSpeculation arose this past week that News Corp.-owned MySpace Music (NWS) is considering moving to a paid model, since the cost of free streaming is making its current model unsustainable. News Corp. digital chief Jon Miller expressed some interest in such a move in an onstage interview conducted by paidContent’s Rafat Ali in Monaco on Thursday, noting that he believes in the “freemium” music model conceptually, even if a practical and sustainable version hasn’t appeared yet.” [Business Week]

TechCrunch says that MySpace can’t afford all the royalty payments it has to pay labels to stream music. Which bands get paid when their music is played on MySpace? Britney Spears? If anything, I would have thought it was the other way around (MySpace trying to charge bands for the free service) (though I understand it is a mutually beneficial relationship).

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