Learning from Musicat service

Discovered these folks today. Using libraries to fund local music is an interesting idea. The model is that anyone can stream, but locals can download.

Looks like it’s in Seattle and some other places. I’m originally from Minnesota so the local there is:


Check out the FAQ on how they Curate.


@lindner Paul, very excited by the possibilities here, thanks for the link! Surely there are some great opportunities for us to follow that model, at lower cost, to local library services, using Resonate as a platform? For example, libraries in the UK, and especially in Brighton, would really love the concept, but lack the technical capability, funding for hosting or curator manpower to do the job, even though so much great work has clearly been done by Musicat on the local biz model and open source tech. Perhaps Resonate could provide a ‘SaaS-style’ platform for local curation, maybe with a little ‘white label branding / powered by Resonate’ skin, especially with the release of the upload tool, we might engage local libraries in driving (and subsidising) renewable listener subscriptions as an alternative to running their own service from scratch? We’re proven and have ethical strength in the Resonate brand, with fair reward for plays. We have global reach, perhaps connecting local curation communities worldwide through a (much improved) version of this community forum. I guess want to write to my local library service about this right now!!! Or is that crazy? …more thoughts to follow… anyone else?

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@lindner And another thing… I saw that https://hclib.musicat.co have a committee of the ‘great and the good in local music’ who effectively offer a $200 handout to artists that they deem acceptable. Those artists then get free ‘exposure’ but no further revenue, and what appears to free indiscriminate downloads for their local library audience.

I think we could improve on that in a couple of ways:

  1. A fairer and more flexible local economic model - For example, we could pay a higher percentage of streaming fees for ‘local’ artist tracks streamed to registered local library listeners. We would ask the library to subsidise our local Resonate member signup fee and then pay for (in whole or in part) top ups of local listening credits.
  2. Transparent curator governance and wider audit. Having a wider membership pool allows for better moderation than a purely local setup. We need to do work on this ourselves for the new upload tool, so that we share the work of defence against the ‘tide of shitmusic’ fairly.

Thanks @Nick_M – I think there are multiple ways to improve on that model, while building local community. I’m glad that you’re thinking through them.

I also agree that there needs to be protection from algorithmically generated music.

I just came back from a visit to Minneapolis where i connected with a number of people that were locally popular back in the 90s era of Jayhawks-style roots music. It was a real productive scene and I’d like to find similar ways of building that kind of local community in this new environment.

I think a part of it was the way that established groups chose their opening acts. I’m not sure what a online equivalent of that is, but it might be a way of introducing/curating content.

Of course there was that time that Prince opened up for the Rolling Stones, but you get the idea :slight_smile:

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@lindner Coming back again to this local roots music thing - it’s important… Covid-19 is teaching us a few things about the value of digital online community. It has drawn in many who value the opportunity to reach out when f2f, physical space is broken. I’m trying out JQBX at the moment in their ‘Quarantunes’ room :slight_smile: Seems more human and community-based than an algorithmic or ‘playola’ playlist. A shame that it’s still Spotify premium at the back end of it, with nothing for artists, and typical privacy abuse. Our API strategy anticipates third party front ends like. Could / should we work with them?

…Or is JQBX a Spotify-only shop, whose exit strategy is to be bought up by Spotify, who would add them as a feature in due course, the start-up having done their r&d for them?

Spotify stripped out all their community-based stuff, focusing on their playlisting and catalog advantages. They instead offered their API’s up to all the big social networks and used the breadth of those ecosystems to bring in lots of listeners… and their data.

Maybe we could take a chance on doing the opposite, by binding more closely to privacy-respecting social networking focused on the active listening music community?

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