SoundLoud is the latest music service attempting to monetize the very end of the long tail by providing a mechanism for independent and unsigned musicians to sell their music online. Unlike centralised music stores such as iTunes, SoundLoud's main offering is the SoundStation Music Store, an e-store widget designed to be placed on band websites and MySpace profiles, which enables tracks to be purchased for download.
With regards to MySpace, SoundLoud faces tough competition from the social network's in-house offering (powered by Snocap). Having said that, SoundLoud offers a slightly better deal for artists by keeping 33 cents per $0.99 of each track sold, compared to Snocap's 45 cents.
No threat to Apple
When MySpace first announced its intention to start selling music downloads, the company's co-founder Chris DeWolfe (in what can only be described as wishful thinking) was quoted as saying:
Everyone we’ve spoken to definitely wants an alternative to iTunes and the iPod. MySpace could be that alternative.
It's true that MySpace Music (along with SoundLoud) does provide a much needed way for independent musicians to monetize their content, and creates alternative destinations for consumers. However, as the tracks sold on these services will be good old-fashioned (and DRM-free) MP3s, they'll work just fine on the iPod - which is of course where Apple makes most of its money anyway.