YouTube is taking on MySpace head-on with a new system to monetize independent musicians' videos.
Called "Musicians Wanted," it allows independent bands or even small music labels to apply to put ads on their music videos. YouTube matches ads to the videos and shares the revenue with the artist. YouTube won't reveal the revenue breakdown, but just says everybody's happy.
Musicians want to drive fans to YouTube: the more views, the more revenue they get, and the more money YouTube makes.
This new focus on music looks like a direct attack on MySpace, which has re-oriented itself to focus on music and entertainment rather than competing with Facebook. And this new competition, positioning YouTube as a destination for independent musicians, comes as MySpace endures a particularly tumultuous time- CEO Owen Van Natta recently left and there have been rumors News Corp is trying to sell the company. (MySpace has denied these rumors).
"Musicians Wanted" is very similar to the "Filmmakers wanted initiative YouTube launched at Sundance. The big question is whether these indie entertainment products will attract enough attention to drive real revenues for both artists and YouTube.
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