Google Music???s real innovation: The indie artist hub ??? Tech News and Analysis

Self-released indie musicians have had the option to sign up with specialized distributors like Tunecore and CD Baby to receive a higher share. But even these companies have to stay in business somehow, so they???re each taking a cut. CD Baby charges musicians a one-time setup fee of $39 per album and 9 percent of each track sold on top of the 30 percent charged by iTunes. Tunecore charges $50 per album per year.

Google Music, on the other hand, only charges musicians a one-time fee of $25, with no additional charges, after which they receive the full 70 percent share.

However, the secret weapon for indie artists is Google???s other big music service: YouTube. The video site currently serves more than three billion videos every day, and stats from TubeMogul showed last year that around a third of the views of YouTube???s top 2500 partners were music videos. Indie artists will soon be able to utilize this huge audience to sell their music directly on YouTube, Google revealed yesterday.

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