Monday, April 28, 2008

New Site Promotes Artists, Not Indentured Servitude is a music download site where users can browse through an artist's catalogue of songs, and buy the ones they like to download. Except, unlike iTunes and all the others, there's no record labels involved, it's a direct business relationship between the site and the artists, flogging songs on a consignment basis.

Marketnews: New Site Aims to Cut Out the Middle Man in Music Distribution

A new Website at, aims to essentially cut out the middle man, the record label, from the music distribution equation. Any musical artist or band, whether on contract with a label or not, can upload their music to the site, where fans can listen to it for free.
If a visitor selects to buy and download a track, the artist will receive 50 per cent of the $1 fee. As for the remaining $0.50, the company says that $0.29 will go to the online payment gateway, 2.5 cents for credit card fees, and 18.5 cents for band roster administration and site maintenance.

I've been saying since the end of the last Century that the real reason that the music industry has fought tooth and nail against Internet downloads isn't because if pirated content, it's because with the technology now in place, artists don't need labels anymore. For every artist under contract whose career leads to great wealth, there are a thousand others under contract slaving away, making a lot less. And for every one of those artists, there are thousands more who for whatever reason don't get a record deal at all, no matter how talented they might be. No matter how the labels rationalize it, it's as asymmetrical a structure as you can imagine. promises to be another of the myriad choices for Internet distribution that musicians can now choose from. Make no mistake, the music industry is scared shitless.

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