Zimbalam, a French-based digital distribution service for unsigned artists, has extended its operations to Italy and Germany.

The Zimbalam service was set up two months ago and forms part of Believe Digital, a Paris-based company that has been active in digital distribution for the last four years.

Zimbalam says it will offer its artists 90% of the income collected through the digital distribution of their work, which will be available from major download stores including iTunes, Amazon and eMusic, with an option for streaming on Spotify.

Contracts will be non-exclusive and there will be no fixed annual cost for the artists, although they have the option of the services of a personal A&R manager.

In a statement, Zimbalam and Believe Digital's Italian team director, Luca Stante, who is based in Syracuse, Sicily, said: "The decision to set up Zimbalam was taken after Believe Digital had been contacted by an estimated 55,000 unsigned artists over the course of 2008. We felt that many of them deserved distribution and we consider them a precious source of talent worth investing in."