We were just talking about how there are more and more new startups
in the market to help bands do everything they need to do to both make music and make money these days -- and one of the most successful has been ReverbNation, who has created a variety of tools for musicians to help them both distribute music and connect with fans in new and compelling ways. And, now, the company has announced that it not only wants to help bands give away DRM-free mp3 music for free, but it will pay some of them $0.50 per download
. Who says free can't pay? Of course, as always, there is a money-making business model involved. In this case, it's that ReverbNation will get to include a small ad in the cover art that appears with the album. Also, it's only open to a 1,000 bands. I'm not convinced this is a sustainable
model, as "ad supported" music strikes me as a market where it will be tough to get enough ad revenue to make it worthwhile -- but it's still a neat experiment to watch and see how it evolves. It certainly may help get more indie bands over the fear of putting their music out there for free on purpose -- and hopefully some of those bands will recognize the other benefits of doing so, beyond just the $0.50 per download from ReverbNation.