At first glance, newly launched "digital record label in a blog format" RCRD LBL doesn't look much different from any other music blog. It's slicker, but it also shares plenty of the trappings of sites like Stereogum and Fluxblog. Each entry features a picture of the act, a little prose about how utterly fantastic it is and a link to download a free track. If it weren't for the Puma, Virgin America and Nokia ads tucked at the side of the page, it would look like a more professional version of some random music fan's hobby project.

The site, a joint venture between indie label Downtown Records and Gizmodo/Endgadget founder Peter Rojas, launched Nov. 15. In addition to the free downloads, there are also plans to include a social networking component, articles and an Internet radio station. The goal, Downtown Records head Josh Deutsch says, is "to connect bands, fans and brands in one place."

What remains to be seen, though, is how much ad revenue such a site can generate, and—since artists featured on the site will not share in any of said revenue—how they and their labels can benefit.

Click here to read the full story, including details on how the site differs from a traditional record label, how artists are compensated, what needs to happen for the venture to be successful and more.

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