Thanks a lot for taking the time to read through all this ! Yes, ok for the sake of clarity I’ll try to sort out my own thoughts and make it a clearer proposition. I’ll try to break it down in clear and precise terms.
Stream 2 Own is good because it serves two purposes : the artist gets paid the equivalent of a “download price” quicker (9 listens) vs Streaming (105 listens), and it avoids infinite amount of money being given to an artist just because 1 user listens to 1 song only. If a listener listens to a song 1050 times on Spotify it’ll get ten times more money from that single user and it’ll still be able to generate listens>money theoretically infinitely. in Stream 2 Own, if you listen to a song 1050 times it’ll remain 1€ thus leaving money to pay other artists and avoiding cattering to obsessive behavior.
Those two things are a great + for Stream 2 Own and definitely beat Spotify in terms of fairness and ethics.
Now this being said, Stream 2 Own is also bad (in : as bad as normal streaming) because it favors and values short songs much more : A short 2 minutes song creates 1€ of value in 18 minutes. a long 20 minutes song needs 3 hours of listening time to generate the same 1€. This is terrible maths. Which means it would already be better to switch Stream 2 Own to a minute based system.
However, it can’t happen without a lot of thinking, the problematics to imagine are :
A minute based systems implies that we need to rethink the numbers, and it’s simple math (but complex answers) : When do we say we reach 1€ ? In the current system it’s 9 times. Ok. So What we could do is find some numbers to get the median or average length of music pieces on the bigger services so that we start from somewhere (for the sake of the argument, let’s say it’s 4 minutes), multiply this by 9 (that would be 36 minutes), and there, you already has something better : Everytime someone listens to a piece of music for 36 minutes, it’s paid for 1€, with an exponential curve every minute the more he listens to it. 36 minutes Is. A. Lot. of listening time ! But it can be reached in 3 listens by a 12 minutes music piece ! In comparaison on Spotify, it would take 21 HOURS, note here that with this system the value gap / fairness between Spotify and Resonate is sometimes higher, sometimes lower than with the current S2O. The current model pays artists 11.6 times quicker (all of them), but in terms of actual time, this model would pay the 2 minute artists only 6 times quicker (already a pretty substantial increase), and it would pay the 12 minutes artists 35 TIMES quicker than on Spotify (And it wouldn’t change anything for the 4 minutes artists, it’d be 11.6 times quicker like in the current S2O model). That’s what I call fairness and levelling the playing field, here, we’re actually adressing a real problem and bringing a solution, a solution that’s beneficial to all, but even more to those who are the most left on the side by the current model.
Currently S2O only imports the exact same inequalities of Spotify and makes the baseline a little better without adressing them.
It’s as if in your company, the CEO is paid 3 millions and the employees are paid 1500€/month, and the CEO raises everyone’s pay by 50% including his. Now the employees make 2250€/month (great !) but the CEO makes 4.5 millions now (less great !). This is what is likely to happen with Resonate’s current model (not that bad obviously, but it’s the idea).
So I hope this was clear, for the tl;dr people, here it is in one short sentence :
You’ve paid 1€ to an artist everytime you’ve listened to a song for 36 minutes (9 times the [imaginary average song of 4 minutes insert the right number here]), and you own it.
That’s the baseline for per minute payment.
This effectively mean that every minute you listen to of a song is worth more than the previous one.
Now there’s a whole other point which we might have to discuss later even if it’s not a very enjoyable thought which is :
This is all under the assumption that people still want ownership of their songs, and that Stream 2 Own is the right model to reach a critical mass of music-lovers that’ll make Resonate stronger as an ecosystem and platform.
Althought I love S2O, I doubt that.
Which means if we were to switch to a sub based, user centric model, we’d have to take another set of tough decisions to level the playing field which would be :
Set a limit on how much money can be made out of one song by an artist from a customer.
In Stream 2 Own this limit is effectively set : 1€/$/£ but it’s a transaction and you own the song.
Maybe in a sub based model, it could just be : you don’t own the song (can’t download it), but you can listen to it offline (it’s almost like you own it) once you’ve past the 36 minutes threshold of listening to it, and no % of your subscription is now given to this artist for that specific song. This would be closest I could see to S2O under sub form.
I could see this model work pretty well in conjonction with Bandcamp, which would be “the store where you go to support the artists you trully love and buy their merch and physical goods etc.” and Resonate which would be “the place where you give a fair payments to the artists you discover and enjoy to listen every once in a while”.
However a user centric model would also be another entire can of worms.
Quick example : In January User X listened to 3 bands, A, B and C, except he listened to a loooot of A, quite a lot of B, and a reasonable amount of C but less than the first 2. So A got most of the money of the sub that month, B got a good amount, C got a little less. Now the next month, let’s say User X has reached the max amount he could pay to A, so A doesn’t recieve more money in February, but now he doesn’t listen to B and C anymore, he listens to new bands in February (D et E). But he listens to them less than B and C in January because this time he didn’t have a lot of time for music. It effectively means that even though he listened to D and E less, they’ll get more money than B and C.
It’s not great. It’s better than 99% of what’s out there. But it’s still not great.
So should we “queue” listening numbers and remunerate progressively so that past listens don’t get screwed other new listens ? I guess this would quite complicated to setup and unclear in many ways. So there are many questions (mainly because : Sub Based Model suck, repeat after me !). But I still think we need to imagine an “alternative sub based model” that could be fairer overall if at some point we see S2O is a dead end that’s just too at odds with critical mass realities and expectations of a music streaming service.
Edit: there’s also another point but I’m too exhausted today to bring it up and it’s already developped in the post above so I’ll leave it at that :
I wouldn’t mind if the 36 minutes threshold wasn’t actually “per song” but “per artist”. As in : if you listen to a 36 minutes long 13 songs Punk Album once > 1€. If you listen to a 36 minutes long Prog Rock 3 Long Songs album once > 1€. That would seem totally fair to me and it would push people away from the “Playlist World Only” since they’d know they’d be supporting artists more if they listened to their full albums.
So here’s my current dream bottomline :
1€/£/$ everytime an artist has been listened to for 36 minutes.