TuneCore introduced a new music sponsorship model to its service that lets artists offer free downloads to fans in return for payment by corporate sponsors.

Artists select which participating brands they want to partner with, and then offer free music to fans who visit that brand's Web site to get the download. The sponsors pay what amounts to a banner ad fee to TuneCore for the traffic, which is then shared with the artists responsible for the hit.

The first implementation of the new model will kick off Jan. 1 with IK Multimedia, a music creation software company.