According to an email apparently sent by Universal artist Colbie Caillat to her fans, artists signed to Universal Music Group or one of its subsidiaries may not post full versions of their songs on their MySpace pages.
Hey everyone…bad news. Due to circumstances beyond my control I have to swap the songs out on my page for 90 second versions instead of full length versions. In fact some of the songs have already been swapped as I write this.
Every artist signed to a Universal label has to comply immediately.
You can listen to full versions of some of my songs on my personal webpage www.colbiecaillatmusic.com. I will make sure that the songs that were available here are available there as soon as possible.
I apologize to everyone for the inconvenience especially those that use my songs for personal profiles. Hopefully the politics involved here gets worked out soon and we can return to full length songs as soon as possible. Thank you everyone for your continued support!!
Update: Word on the grapevine is that this policy was enacted about six months ago, but that in many cases, artists were only recently notified. Universal has limited the music by artists on all of its labels to posting only 90 second samples on MySpace and other third-party sites, unless they have a contract with Universal that allows them to stream the full song on-demand. (Labels can also choose to add an audio tag to the beginning and end of the audio files rather than limiting songs to 90 seconds, but most are going with the 90-second sample option.)
The policy applies to any site where music can be embedded, except for Universal’s own official sites, which still offer free on-demand streaming of certain complete songs.
Another Update: When Universal replaces the songs with 90-second samples, the songs maintain their current playcounts. But apparently, if an artist were to replace that with the full-length song (allowing fans to embed the full songs again), playcounts revert to an embarrassing zero plays.
Cliff Notes: All Universal Music artists are being required by the label to swap out their myspace songs with 90 second samples.
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