Artist compensation will be pretty important to the system. I'm not quite sure what the best model will be, but hey, let's think about it.
In the distribution model, artists are compensated based on how popular their music is. Popularity is pretty straightforward to measure in that model. But it should be replacable.
Artists could be compensated based on the concensus of the system's users.
The exact ratios are going to be tricky to figure out. Maybe a profit sharing model would work. The top rated artists are awared percentages of the profits. The percentages would need to be tweaked as the system grows, in the beginning a limited number of the top rated artists would share in the profits, but as the profits grew, the percentage of artists "in the money" could be tweaked.
I think in order to build the community, there will need to be a tier that is not compensated, but depending on the quanity vs. quality of contributors, it may be possible to reward all the artists monetarily. Perhaps at the lowest tier the value to the artists is in the relationships and marketing potential.
hmmm, I kind of like that idea.
Tier 1: Access to the system's core features to help promote the artists contributions.
Tier 2: Fixed monetary contribution.
Tier 3: Profit sharing
Tier 2 might actually simply be a very wide area of profit sharing... with everyone in that tier getting .1% or something (depending on how high the profits are this could be a lot of money), and then increasing in percentages once you get to a certain popularity "level".