ReverbNation today announced that about 1000 of its almost 400,000 artist members will be eligible to participate in a new revenue generating Sponsored Songs program.  The initiative makes it possible to tap into the kind of major brand relationships that have typically been elusive for unsigned and indie talent.

“Traditionally the music business has been synonymous with the record business where the lion’s share of revenue came from selling music. With reduced emphasis on music sales, the music business must develop new revenue streams that leverage the artist as a brand,” Michael Doernberg, CEO of ReverbNation said in a statement. ReverbNation will pay participating musicians $.50 per free download with each track incorporating a small section of branded messaging within the digital cover art displayed every time the song is played.

The downloads, which the company confirmed to Hypebot will be in the MP3 and M4A formats, will be offered to fans on a set of branded landing pages. When a fan initiates a download, patent pending technology…

merges the brand’s message into the digital cover art and songs are tracked as they are passed from fan to fan. Much of the value to the advertiser is that their message continues to spread along with the track as it is shared virally from directly fan to fan and via P2P.

The first Sponsored Songs campaign will begin mid June and last 90 days. ReverbNation’s Band Equity Score and the Artists’ fan demographic profiles will be used to determine which are invited to participate. Accepted artists will provide songs and also use ReverbNation’s marketing tools to promote the downloads.

Posted By: Thomas v/d Zouwe