Published Jan 19, 2010Today's musicians are part of a DIY generation, where anyone with a laptop can cut a decent-sounding demo and share it with the world within the space of an afternoon. And with successful boutique labels springing up daily, the boundaries between independent musicians and major label acts are breaking down more and more.
The latest frontier for independent artists is the music simulation videogame Rock Band. Previously, all of the game's featured musicians were major superstars. Starting today (January 19), however, developers have announced that users will be able to submit their own songs via the Rock Band Network Store. So long as songs are game-ready and don't feature any inappropriate content, anyone can submit his or her work. Songs can then be sold for between 50 cents and $3 each, with creators receiving 30 percent of the proceeds.
NME reports that artists such as Creed and Evanescence have already expressed interest in submitting their music to the game, as has iconic indie label Sub Pop (home to Fleet Foxes, Wolf Parade, Beach House and more).
It's uncertain, however, whether or not this platform will be usable for artists without significant financial means. In order to make the songs game-ready, the Wall Street Journal reports that third-party programmers can charge as much as $500 per minute of music. Some companies, such as New York's TuneCore Inc., will be offering an introductory rate of $999 per song, but even this is hardly a plausible overhead for a musician without label support.
Then again, don't sell the DIY generation short, since we're willing to bet that a few bands will enlist tech savvy friends to help them give it a shot.