ReverbNation: Sponsored Songs Program

I just caught wind of this thanks to Andrew Durkin.

From Hypebot:

ReverbNation today announced that about 1000 of its almost 400,000 artist members will be eligible to participate in a new revenue generating Sponsored Songs program. The initiative makes it possible to tap into the kind of major brand relationships that have typically been elusive for unsigned and indie talent.

“Traditionally the music business has been synonymous with the record business where the lion’s share of revenue came from selling music. With reduced emphasis on music sales, the music business must develop new revenue streams that leverage the artist as a brand,” Michael Doernberg, CEO of ReverbNation said in a statement. ReverbNation will pay participating musicians $.50 per free download with each track incorporating a small section of branded messaging within the digital cover art displayed every time the song is played.

The downloads, which the company confirmed to Hypebot will be in the MP3 and M4A formats, will be offered to fans on a set of branded landing pages. When a fan initiates a download, patent pending technology…

merges the brand’s message into the digital cover art and songs are tracked as they are passed from fan to fan. Much of the value to the advertiser is that their message continues to spread along with the track as it is shared virally from directly fan to fan and via P2P.

Now this is something that’s very interesting to me. A company trying to utilize the power of P2P networks. Not just giving away music in hopes that people will show up to shows, sign email lists, or buy the record. Like using a song in a commercial. Set the message next to a good tune for all us post-Napster downloaders to see and hear.

In the next couple weeks, Hypebot will update us on this. I’ll be sure to pass along any info I get in the meantime.