YouTube and music licensing store RumbleFish unveiled the launch of Friendly Music, an online store that lets people purchase copy-protected music tracks for use in YouTube videos for $1.99 each.
The site, which goes live June 29, launches with about 35,000 tracks from independent music artists like Face to Face, and Kool Keith. New songs will be added daily, with noted artists named in the coming months.
The tracks are licensed for use on YouTube through RumbleFish's existing music catalog, selections from which have supported film, television and video games from companies like Ubisoft and MTV. The consumer searches, selects and buys the track and downloads an MP3 of the song. The site emails the license stating that the song may be used in a video forever (YouTube currently removes videos that use copyrighted songs) to the purchaser, who can edit the track and upload it to YouTube in a video.
Most licenses are negotiated directly with individual artists and labels. The songs are available for non-commercial use only, including non-profits that want to promote their causes.
Paul Anthony, RumbleFish founder and chief executive officer, says people can search to find tunes by mood, genre and keyword, or browse through playlists. The site also will offer a free download of a specially selected song weekly.
The two companies created the site to support music artists and assist people uploading videos to YouTube to replace blocked songs. "The goal is to serve the average YouTube video maker," he says.
Anthony says unique IDs associated with each license and music file allow the company to track distribution and use.
As for YouTube, the company introduced Audio Swap, along with Video Editor, earlier this month. The editing tools allow people to trim and join clips and add a soundtrack, which parent company Google allowed YouTube to make available through Friendly Music.
Friendly Music will remain a stand-alone site and service -- which fuels speculation that Google will launch a music service later this year supported by Google Checkout, moving to a subscription model in 2011.
A Google spokesperson pointed MediaPost toward the keynote during this year's I/O conference and announcement of new Android Marketplace music category that enables people to download tunes to an Android music player. Similarly, technology from Simplify Media, which Google recently acquired, allows consumers to download from their iTunes library or other music catalogs all non-DRM music and run it on mobile devices that are running Android.
On Tuesday, Microsoft introduced a music service on Bing that will allow people to search for and play an entire song within the Web browser. The tracks are available for purchase through Amazon and Zune.
There are about 5 million full-length songs available through a license agreement between the music labels and Zune. There's no need to install a player, register to use the service or provide an email address. A player pops up as an extension of the browser.