Unsigned musicians are confronted with an ever expanding set of Internet tools and services to distribute their work. The opportunity is to reach new markets worldwide without losing out to the proverbial industry middleman. But a new set of virtual middlemen have appeared around these online distribution services. Their business models are radically different from traditional distribution deals. They also vary wildly amongst themselves, ranging across commission arrangements to flat fees. The only consistent element is that they are aiming to make money. This article reviews some of the online distribution services commonly utilized by Australian artists and attempts to provide some clarity around what can either be a genuine new sales channel or just another cost to the creator.
The article is in PDF format.