Rawrip, a new online music-discovery and retail service that promises to offer artists and labels 100% of the download royalties, launches today in the beta format. The MP3 platform's full commercial launch is scheduled for November.
Its owner/operator Rockbury Media International will generate revenues from the advertising sold around the service.
Currently, music is available from a catalog of about 1 million full-length tracks supplied by independent labels and music aggregators.
Rawrip founder Vartan Sarkissian says some catalog tracks from major labels are included in the aggregators' contribution, but declines to disclose which ones. However, he says the company is currently in talks with the majors about adding current releases in the MP3 format to the Rawrip catalog.
Artists and labels can control the sales of their recordings via Rawstores, a proprietorial widget designed for monetization. The pricing is flexible, as are the music distribution options, depending on the artists/labels' requirements.
The widget can be uploaded on to the artists/labels' pages on the social networks MySpace and Facebook. Bebo will be added from September.
Sarkissian adds: "We're able to tap into other networks to monetize the music. And from every artists' profile on the Rawrip site, fans are able to copy their widget and upload it to their pages on MySpace and Facebook."
The site also features a bespoke music-search and discovery technology called the Rippler. Whenever a song is streamed on the site, the Rippler recommends songs of similar genres and sounds within the catalog based on 30 different characteristics.