Back in January, social music service Last.fm announced that it would be launching something called the Artist Royalty Program that allows unsigned artists to reap royalties each time one of their songs is played through the site's ad-supported streaming music feature or Web radio. (They just have to upload their music first.)
On Wednesday, the service announced that the Artist Royalty Program had gone live and that more than 450,000 tracks have been uploaded in conjunction with it.
"We're leveling the playing field by offering them the same opportunities as established bands to make money from their music," Last.fm co-founder Martin Stiksel said in a release Wednesday. "The young musician making music in a bedroom studio has the same chance as the latest major label signing to use Last.fm to build an audience and get rewarded.
It's also an incentive for them to promote Last.fm as a promotional hub for their music, potentially eating into a market dominated by News Corp's MySpace.
Disclaimer: Last.fm is owned by CBS Interactive, which also owns CNET News.