WaTunes has announced that it will no longer charge artists for digital distribution to iTunes and other online retailers. The company hopes to generate revenue from ads on a new music social networking site.
The fees that digital distributors charge have expereinced aggressive downward pressure in recent months with TuneCore, ReverbNation and others offering indie artists access to major online retailers for a low flat fee. But Watunes' unlimited free model, while potentially game changing, could be hard to sustain particularly in a tough economy.
The startup's CEO appears unconcerned. "By becoming the very first company to embrace
the absolute digital distribution model, we have eliminated the fee structured aggregation model that enables musicians pay in order to get their music available to their fans. This model enables our customers to distribute music while getting the full benefits of earning all the royalties and maximizing exposure.” says Kevin Rivers, founder and CEO of WaTunes.
WaTunes also provides a social music experience that enables the fans to connect and stream music, rate and comment on their favorite albums, meet new friends, and buy music directly from iTunes.