Perhaps the most intriguing announcement to come out of the Google event this afternoon is its new Artist Hub. The new feature is designed to provide a platform for unsigned artists to self release and promote their music to a wider audience. The playing field is being leveled for the unknowns looking to get exposure.
By paying a one-time fee of $25, artists or bands will get to upload original content on their own customizable page, where Google is granting full control – even retail prices for albums and tracks can be set by the user. Revenue will be split 70/30, with 70 percent going to the artist.
Google makes it very clear on its website, “You don’t need a record deal to get started; just a Google account and your original music (with all the rights)… If you already work with a record label or distributor, this isn’t the route for you.” When the one-time setup fee is paid, that’s it. No other fees are required, giving anyone who has a dream of selling their music to the masses free reign. Uploading tracks, creating albums, editing your artist page, all come at no cost after the initial fee.
Artist pages can be accessed from within the Android Market to help Google Music users learn more about the artist’s backstory. Essentially, it acts as a profile page where consumers can find the who, what and where.
As expected, the service will be integrated neatly with YouTube and Google+. Artists who upload content to YouTube will have the ability to add a buy link in their music video; YouTube partners can promote their store link next to their videos which will allow fans to buy the song and add it to their Google Music library automatically. The social media aspect is implemented by allowing buyers to share their purchases with Google+ Circles. Once a song is shared, friends can listen to that song for free and decide if they want to purchase it as well.
This is huge for up-and-coming artists. Check the video for some revealing testimonials.