Music licensing company Rumblefish and independent online distributor CD Baby have announced a partnership through which indie artists can license music for use in YouTube and Internet videos, slideshows, games, presentations and social media programs. Over 250,000 performers and 3.5 million songs from CD Baby’s catalogue will be available initially to corporations that seek breaking bands to provide soundtracks for use across multimedia and online marketing campaigns.
Through this new arrangement, indie acts will be able to license tracks for use by businesses, which may provide the artists with a lucrative income stream and much-coveted mainstream exposure. The program’s reach will extend to multiple forms of advertising: TV, movie and video game. However, this is not an instant jackpot for up-and-coming artists: given the ever-growing size of CD Baby's album pool, exposure is still no guarantee, and few of the partnership's online placements are likely to enjoy the widespread buzz of an Apple commercial, Hollywood blockbuster or national media campaign (unless they go viral).
Still, for artists hoping for the marketing presence of musicians such as Feist and Chairlift (who have enjoyed prominent placement in high-profile commercial spots), this deal represents another possible shot at stardom. Deals can be brokered without a formal label or agent, potentially allowing undiscovered acts to build a considerable fan base via high-tech channels and make extra money in the process. Happily, it costs nothing to take the chance: starting December 15th, soloists and ensembles can register at zero cost to make their music available via Rumblefish’s licensing service.
This collaboration follows earlier initiatives by CD Baby to expand its reach by letting artists create storefronts and pages on Facebook. (The CD Baby catalogue includes the likes of Ingrid Michaelson and Macklemore.) It points towards a growing industry awareness that sales of digital singles and records are one option for capitalizing on artists’ catalogues and images – and, just maybe, it will pave the way for some deserving bands' big breaks.
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