by Elsa Kim
As of July 8th, the Internet radio and music-oriented social networking site Last.fm began paying unsigned artists "royalties": a portion of the ad revenue received from the artists' page. With this progressive move, Last.fm realized the potential of the Internet to cut out the middlemen (royalty collectors and music labels) so that artists can be paid according to their page hits and plays on the site. For listeners, it's a guarantee that their most beloved artists will benefit from their fanship, even if it's only a fraction of a penny per page visit. And as this type of program expands, it seems more likely that people will be able to find and support artists they enjoy, just by listening to them. For basic information, check out the Last.fm blog. For a more in-depth analysis, see Erick Schonfeld's piece in TechCrunch. And if you're an artist interested in participating, get more details at Last.fm's Music Manager.