A new UK music download service backed by leading artists, Groove Armada, is set to debut this month.

TuneTribe has raised £1 million in initial set-up funding, and has been custom -built as an online retail outlet for unsigned bands and independent label repertoire.

The service offers substantially higher royalties to the artists than any other service does, a respectable 80 per cent of sales. Major labels Sony and EMI offer artists just 15 per cent of money made through online sales.

The Libertines, Paul Oakenfold and Morrisey have already cut deals with the service, which implores artists to "take control and cut out the middle man".

Most TuneTribe tracks are "expected" to come from artists with existing record deals, according to The Guardian.

John Strickland, co-founder of TuneTribe said the £1 million would "help to push the service on to as many platforms as possible while financing a marketing drive".

"TuneTribe's website brings artists and consumers together. There's no proprietary formats, there are no restrictions, and there's no DRM (Digital Rights Management). And by cutting out the middlemen you can make music more affordable for everyone - you can charge whatever you want at TuneTribe," the site says.

The Guardian carries analyst comment which says such new business models are unlikely to displace the existing music business, because the industry carries expertise in distribution and marketing.

The UK independent music sector, however, accounts for at least 20 per cent of the UK music market, and exploits non-traditional ways to bring product to market.