YouTube-focused music firm Audiam is intent on shaking up the way labels and artists make money from Google’s video service. Its latest strategy is to offer their music for free. Eh? Pre-cleared music for YouTube creators to use in their videos, with the artists and songwriters then earning a percentage of the ad revenues around them. For now, it’s indie artists taking advantage: Ron Pope, The Bomb Squad, Sons Of The Sea and Moones are among those whose music is available at launch. The pitch to YouTubers is that they won’t risk copyright-related strikes on their accounts for using unlicensed music. More than 2,000 songs are initially being made available. “For Audiam’s publishers, artists and labels, the new offering means they can now earn more money on YouTube while engaging with fans and rewarding them for using their music,” founder Jeff Price tells Billboard. There are a lot of companies trying to help labels make more money from YouTube, with much of the competition thus far focused on who pays the biggest revenue share. Audiam’s move hints that in 2014, these companies may differentiate themselves by inventive features too. Well, we can hope.

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