The playing field may be leveling for small independent musicians who, up until now, had difficulty earning money from their music when used on websites like YouTube.
Major record companies and music publishers already have agreements with YouTube to get paid when their songs are featured in videos posted by users, reported Bloomberg Businessweek recently.
Now a small startup called Audiam says it can do the same for the small independents.
Audiam launched overseas last month and should be available to independent musicians in the U.S. by the end of July, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.
The company says its service is free for artists. Once a musician signs up for an account and uploads their music to the site, Audiam begins scouring YouTube for videos that utilize their music.
According to the FAQ page on its website, once Audiam has found the artist’s songs on YouTube, the company authorizes text ads or commercials to be placed on the videos and collects revenues on the artist’s behalf.
Signing up for the service means an artist is allowing Audiam to represent them in the pursuit of revenue for their music on YouTube videos for one year. The agreement renews unless cancelled. Every time a YouTube user clicks on an ad or watches at least 30 seconds of a commercial on an Audiam client’s video, the company will collect money from YouTube.
Audiam takes a 25 percent cut from the revenue it collects for its artists for the service it provides and artists retain all rights to their work.
The service provides a potential alternative for small independent musicians who might not be able to earn sufficient revenue selling recordings via iTunes or Amazon.