Universal today became the first major label to sign a deal with People's Music Store, a new London-based digital download service that will let fans market and "sell" their favorite tracks, earning credit toward additional track downloads.
The deal licenses more than 300,000 UMG tracks to the service, including songs by Amy Winehouse, Duffy, U2 and Morrissey. It doubles the stores total catalog to 600,000 mp3s.
Basically, here's how it works. Individual users can set up their own digital record stores, design storefronts, choose music from the licensed catalog, write reviews and market their store in blogs or on Facebook or MySpace using widgets from the site. Every time someone downloads a track from their "store," they receive 10 percent of the sale price in reward points toward future downloads.
Of course the site also works with labels and artists -- more than 1,000 stores already exist, from labels like Rough Trade or artists like Nightmares on Wax. Here's to the future of free music... and apparently free labor as well.