This summer, five mostly young online companies are setting themselves apart from all others in the music business. Each represents a different segment of the industry, but together they exemplify the entrepreneurship and innovation that is leading the music industry into the new decade. Get to know them here:

BANDCAMP
What they do:
Bandcamp has quietly created a best-in-class product as MySpace has failed to improve what it offers artists. Its proposition is simple: Allow artists to create pages where they can stream, give away and sell music and other items. From allowing fans to set their own price to giving away downloads in exchange for an email address, Bandcamp allows for some of today’s more popular digital music marketing tactics. Labels can also use it to showcase and sell a number of albums. And as other sites cater to social marketing needs, Bandcamp leaves that to other companies and focuses on doing just a few things very well.
Why they’re hot now:
More than anything, the Bandcamp sites are incredibly functional – empowering the direct-to-fan relationship. Artists have made over $1 million in sales in 2010, Bandcamp tells Billboard, and the company just had one of its artists, Zoe Keating, debut at #7 on Billboard’s classical chart with sales only from her Bandcamp page. www.bandcamp.com.

RDIO
What they do:
Currently in private beta, new social music service Rdio is full of potential. Its social elements make it stand out from its peers and improves upon getting recommendations via Twitter, Facebook or email. Rdio’s pricing is today’s standard: $5 for computer-only streaming and $10 for access through mobile apps. Once it improves its thin catalog, Rdio will have a product that will rival and perhaps exceed the late Lala.
Why they’re hot now:
Rdio will appeal to fans of cloud-based music services who want to follow what their social network is playing. With MOG, Rhapsody and Napster already in the space, and music lockers starting to take off, Rdio is well-positioned to compete in an increasingly hot market.
www.rdio.com.

SONICBIDS
What they do:
Sonicbids is not a new company. Founded in 2001, it was the first online service to allow promoters to find and book artists over the Internet. Last year, according to the Sonicbids website, over 71,000 gigs were booked using the service and 210,000 independent artists use the service.
Why they’re hot now:
Last week, the company announced the hire of two new execs. Martin Kelleher, the new CFO and COO, is a former Monster.com CFO. Nitzan Achsaf, Sonicbids' new VP of product, is a former product manager at Yahoo. In mid-June, Sonicbids announced it had acquired ArtistData, a service that allows artists to update information on all their social networks from a single dashboard. In a nutshell, Sonicbids has improved its product, added users and strengthened its advantage over market newcomers. www.sonicbids.com

SOUNDCLOUD
What they do:
This is sharing made simple. SoundCloud gives artists an easy way to send and receive audio files, embed audio tracks for people to hear and allow others to remix their works. Its music streaming widget is seen in music blogs across the Web. Underlying everything is a social network that allows users to track, communicate and collaborate with others.
Why they’re hot now:
SoundCloud landed about $3.3 million in funding in late 2009. Since then it has solidified its position as a leader in its category. The service is ubiquitous among dance/electronic artists and is starting to become more prominent among rock bands. The company tells Billboard it has grown from 100,000 users to over 1.2 million in the last 12 months and now has 70 applications built on top of its platform. www.soundcloud.com.

TICKETFLY
What they do:
The ticketing company, founded by former Ticketweb executives, is a leader in the growing online ticketing space and is well-positioned to benefit from backlash against the Ticketmaster-Live Nation merger. The company counts among its clients the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C., Maxwell’s in Hoboken and the Knitting Factory venues around the country.
Why they’re hot now:
In May the company announced it had raised $3 million in funding from High Peaks Venture Partners and handful of other investors. In late June, Ticketfly acquired Gigbot, a move that improves the functionality of its platform and adds to its roster of clients.
www.ticketfly.com.