The Rock Band Network Music Store is open for business.

The initiative from MTV games and its "Rock Band" developer subsidiary Harmonix -- unveiled last July -- allows artists to submit their music as downloadable add-on content to the music game franchise without going through a formal licensing process. They simply hire freelance developers to create the game files, submit the songs to a peer review process for quality assurance, choose the price at which to sell them, and give MTV a 70% cut of all sales.

MTV opened the program to select artists under a beta trial earlier this year and has since compiled more than 100 songs that are now available for "Rock Band" owners to buy and download. Participating artists include the Shins, the Hold Steady, Bang Camaro, Of Montreal, Steve Vai and others. MTV says an additional 300 artists are in the pipeline to add their music to the store as well, including material from Flight of the Conchords, Smashing Pumpkins and Prong.

The Rock Band Network Music Store exists separately from the Rock Band platform, where more than 1,000 songs are available for download as part of MTV and Harmonix's licensing deals with various labels. The Rock Band Network is designed to let bands who control their master recordings -- or who have no label relationships -- sell their music through the game. A community of more then 4,300 reviewers and developers help these artists create and test the music submitted for the game, freeing the Harmonix team to focus on licensed music.

Mobile operator T-Mobile is on board as a launch partner, implementing an "Artist of the Month" program under which MTV and the operator will select one artist submitting music to the Rock Band Network each month to promote on MTV's TV platform and on T-Mobile, beginning in April.

Exact details of the partnership are pending.

MTV senior VP of electronic games and music Paul DeGooyer and MTV Networks president Van Toffler are discussing this and other developments at Billboard's Music & Money Symposium today at the St. Regis Hotel in New York.