Popular social music network Last.fm has launched a campaign to encourage new and unsigned acts.

The Campaign for Better Music isn't just a marketing ploy, it's a "passionate, determined drive to motivate the next generation of musicians", a company representative said. "Last.fm is offering a route to market that doesn’t involve signing with a music label," he added.

The campaign aims to encourage musicians to seize control of their music, using tools that are freely available on the internet. The campaign title is inspired by famed punk fanzine Sideburns' call to action in '76: "Here's three chords, now form a band."

The campaign blog urges musicians: "We're going to show you how to produce, promote and distribute your music, without spending a load of money, and without lots of other people getting involved."

The campaign is part of what Last.fm is current involved in working toward, now its 'Hype' chart has started being published in Music Week.

The company is promoting live events, and wants to encourage new artists. Last.fm co-founder Martin Stiksel said: "There's so much great music out there that doesn't get a chance to find an audience and we want that to change. It's possible now because we're in the middle of a revolution in terms of how music is made and distributed and promoted. There's a lot of talk about all these things in the media but not much action in the real world so we're going to show new bands how it's done."

Founded in 2002 in London, Last.fm lets music fans share their music preferences by linking their media player to the Last.fm database, which is populated continually with over 500 million monthly track submissions from fans.

The service can intelligently recommend songs, artists, local concerts and even other members based on their musical tastes.