Member Proposals: Pricing

This definitely should be an ongoing discussion. I haven’t personally experienced anxiety about my credits, because I know that I could never be charged beyond the total amount of credits I have. There’s no “overdraft fees”.
I could feel surprised by running out of them when I wasn’t expecting it, but so far my experience has generally been the opposite – my credits have lasted way way longer than expected. But it’s important to note that some people like yourself find the model a bit anxiety-inducing; I don’t think that should be ignored.

I’ve fretted about how little artists make while browsing for artists (and listening to tracks only at the tiny first-play pay rate). However, I think we have good reason to believe that once Resonate Player has more advanced music discovery tools, this issue would be minimized. That “exploration” pay rate would still serve its purpose, but listeners would much more likely find music they love.

In my view, Resonate’s business model depends on some level of “matchmaking” success – helping a given listener find music they enjoy. We don’t want this process to be soullessly algorithmic (delivering them to one genre over and over for example). And we also don’t want to put all the burden of music discovery on the listener themselves.

That current user burden on the beta platform is nearly guaranteed to be a temporary factor. It was never intended to be more than a beta platform. This burden will surely go away when the new player is launched – bit by bit we will have more music discovery tools, curation, human-centric algorithms, and user interactions – all of which will significantly smooth the process to exploring Resonate’s catalogue and listeners finding music they want to listen to again and again.


I feel some level of anxiety while listening to music from an artist I don’t know and when the musical work I selected for listening in a music discovery section finishes, or is about to finish. The reason for that in my case is because I don’t want to spend credits in musical works that don’t satisfy me, and therefore I am always trying to be aware of the playback state in order to stop the player when the musical work I selected finishes or if I don’t like the musical work I decided to listen. Then, if I want to listen to something else I listen to the first seconds of suggested tracks in the different music discovery sections of the player until I listen to something that might be appealing to me and start the same listening process again.

In my opinion, this type of music consumption could be consequence of the Resonate pricing model and also of the limited music discovery features or tools at our disposal in the platform right now, but I believe it is also a consequence of the way in which music is consumed in the streaming era. Because I also experience some sort of anxiety when I’m listening to music in subscription based services, and even in freemium music services, but in these cases it is not for economical reasons. Sometimes, while I’m listening to a song I really like, I feel the temptation (or maybe it could be called anxiety) of start playing another song, I think just because I can do it, because there is so much music at my disposal, and because there are no economical consequences for making that decision.

Streaming technology and streaming platforms are still very new and there are many things that can and need to be improved in the media streaming industry. Having said that, I believe that the current streaming model of Resonate can improve music streaming greatly, although I think it is not perfect, and like @Hakanto said, this should be an ongoing discussion among community members to control if at some point Resonate’s streaming model needs to be improved. If streaming technology is still new, I think Resonate’s music consumption proposal could be considered groundbreaking, and therefore, from my point of view, needs time to test if it can help artists and labels to get paid fairly when their music gets played through streaming technology, and most importantly, if listeners accept and adopt this new way of music consumption, because it is with their support that artists and labels will get paid fairly.

I think @austin 's pricing model proposal is very interesting and easier to understand than the current one, although I think there are some things that could be discussed like,

  • How would music plays be valued?

  • If the value of the music listened by a user during the subscription period is less than the price of the subscription, how would the remaining amount of money be distributed?

  • If the value of the music listened by a user is higher than the price of the subscription, how much would the artists and labels whose tracks where listened by the user receive?

I like the fact that under the current pricing model I don’t have to be concerned about time based subscription renewals, that every play has a fixed value and that if I like a track or artist, every repeated listen will increase exponentially the value of that listen for the artist.

And finally, I think that giving listeners the option to switch autoplay on or off while listening to music in music discovery sections like staff picks, artists, top favorites, etc, would be nice.


My post is from a newbie (artist) perspective.
Resonate needs consistency and some traction. the longer it is clunky and confusing the less likely it is to be adopted by more users. The possibility of changing the model, again creates uncertainty and particularly moving to a $20 a month subscription makes Resonate seem much more like most other streaming platforms, much more trusted, widely used and stable platforms.
Again, I still find Resonate confusing, but if you end up paying the price of a standard download after nine plays (1 euro, $1?) surely each play from 1 to 9 is a very small amount of credit.
I think this is at the core of the problem with the music business. Spotify et al have devalued music so much, it’s apparently a problem to have to pay up to $1 for your music, and much less than that to listen to music before you buy it.
What Resonate needs is a much easier platform to use, and stability. More artists able to upload their work, and a place for listeners to feel like they are actually contributing to those artists directly.
Resonate has several years of publicity (often glowing) based on this stream to own model, to change course now would be to start from scratch IMO.
Lastly - it has been a problem uploading my music. and 2) I find it confusing the separation between artist and listener on the platform. All artists are both.


I agree very much with your views on this Chris. I also really appreciate the discussion in the earlier comments, because in a co-op we learn through discussion.

We generate revenues for artists from ‘Fair Play’ listeners (like me) whom I believe we must treat as customers, and potential Listener Members, if they like the music we have and what we stand for as a community. We’re a multi-stakeholder co-op with artists AND listeners and not just an Artist / platform worker ‘producer’ co-op. That makes us unique and creates a bond of trust that high membership fees might put under strain. We need to keep the balance between our stakeholders and be ready to grow to scale by attracting more listeners and listener members rather than risk making our appeal too narrow and becoming an echo-chamber.

As a community we can discuss the price point for stream2own and bump it up if we think we need to, or bump up the membership fee (but perhaps not to the $20/month level). If we make a surplus we share that back with our member-owners: Artists, Listeners and Worker/Volunteers. I think we should also be prompting for renewal of the now older memberships and also for low-balance top-ups.

I really like stream2own because it encourages breadth in listener discovery (…I wish we had better listener discovery tools - more news on that later)

We could campaign to those who have ‘stale’ balances to gift them to other members, or artists, encouraging spend rather than build-up of credit ‘inventory’. We could also promote the use of the ‘buy now’ button to accelerate rewards to your favourite artist (and then top up).

We now have growth and forecasting models that show that the model can really work, but it is that growth in active listening we need… and to get the growth, there are some tweaks we need to make to improve the sign-up to our platform ‘in flight’ that occasionally cause some hiccups :blush:

I agree about the unnatural artist / listener role distinction - it has been forced by constraints in our old platform on signup. With our new ID services we will have multiple roles. Having said that, myself as a Listener and a spectacularly untalented musician, I won’t be claiming a Music Maker membership or uploading anything other than perhaps a monologue. :slight_smile:

[Music makers (artists, labels) get free membership when they upload tracks. Note that as a co-op member you have to choose one primary role to vote in for ‘general’ votes.]


Was it a recent suggestion to add podcasts to Resonate? I only ever listen to podcasts once, so the 9 plays model wouldn’t work in my example.
I agree on the difficulty of discovery. Maybe everyone’s first play of a track could be free, then it takes ten plays (total) to reach the purchase (stream to own)?
I think artists want to be discovered as well as earn a fair income. So I have no problem for example if 100 resonate members stream my song once for free. Hopefully a few will come back for more and I will achieve my eventual sale.

Podcasts, or even ‘storytelling’ around music has a place here I think. Maybe rewarded better with the buy now button? I think stream2own is a great model for discovery… it’s still free for the first 45 seconds. If the search and discovery experience was great I would be happy to pay a stream 2 own based ‘finders fee’. We have talked on here about enabling it for tracks hosted on other platforms and holding earnings in ‘escrow’… so great search and discovery would be rewarded by a small ‘finder’s fee’. Artists would be rewarded for the play both on the other platform (paid by the other platform) AND on Resonate (held in escrow for them).

I think it’d be interesting to provide a few payment model options: subscription+ user-centric, stream-to-own, and my personal favorite, pay-per-minute rates that are set to a curve defined by frequency of use.

To explain the last option better, the idea is that not all songs are the same length–jazz and classical suffer from pay-per-play models. Furthermore, niche artists with less of a following deserve to be paid well too, even if they aren’t enjoyed by the masses. +/- $0.01 per minute set to a curve would revalue under-appreciated music and account for variations in song length.

Committing to a subscription model at this stage is problematic because Resonate doesn’t have the catalog to compete with other services. Plus, that’s what Deezer does. What, then, would Resonate’s differentiating factor be in the market? Being a co-op? That said, offering a variety of payment models could get valuable feedback for what listeners want. Pay-to-own and pay-per-minute can help get listeners onto the platform without committing, which is beneficial. Subscriptions can be good for those who have the money and don’t want to think about usage.


Hey peteroren - welcome!

Personal view here… Re: "Resonate’s differentiating factor be in the market? "

  1. Multi-stakeholder Co-op: with Artists, Listeners, Workers in democratic ownership;

  2. Fair rewards for new artists, listener exploration of new music, spoken word

  3. Focus on Community… an ‘ecosystem’ of mutual support and exchange of social value…without crazy monetization. Working with other co-ops with similar values.

  4. Digital Dignity - surveillance free …robust digital democracy - polling / voting - possibility of privacy-respecting relationships among artists and listeners

We would hope to ‘convert’ some listener signups into becoming active, contributing members of the co-op: those volunteering thought, effort and perhaps donations and supporter shares to keep us growing and increasing the mutual value of the ecosystem. Membership renewals give us some stability and predictability of income.

I like your suggested ‘pay per minute’ tweak to stream to own… these and others are all things that we could decide on as part of our community governance going forward. I like an open discussion about a user-centric fair pricing algorithm, rather than a corporate decision based on behavioural science and corporate contractual obligations.

But we do need more research on this. What do listeners want? Is our offer too complex? What would make people want to joins up as members, or stick around on the player / site / forum for longer? What should we focus on first? Better search and discovery? Or just a lot more new music? …

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What I’m hearing is a need for user research and data that can inform some of these product decisions. Is there a volunteer that works on this?

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Yes please! Volunteers welcome! We could reach out to our wider membership and perhaps poll on here, or collect better data from player interactions. It needs to be constructed with some thought, so folks with experience of research into user needs would be very much appreciated. In the meantime, any anecdotal opinions on here are always welcome.

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…I forgot #5:

Ethically sourced, 100% renewable energy server infrastructure for streaming

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Upload the monologues! :laughing:


Since this thread was started we did our survey on user needs and had a great response. Lots of support for stream2own and the community model. We wrote some aspects of this up in the response to the parliamentary inquiry on music streaming. Very encouraging… but we always need more feedback as a co-op… Open, democratic, onward!




Love the idea of a pay-per-minute pricing model. I thought about this myself before, too, and appreciate you (@peteroren) mentioning it here!

I do however also like the ownership factor of the stream2own model, and the idea that you pay less while discovering tracks, but more as you continually play a track that you connect with.

It may have already been mentioned to some degree in this thread already, but my personal solution to this setup would be to have a tiered micro payment-per-minute streamed fee, like $0.0008 per minute streamed that would increase after every completed play. (if this is even possible to implement)

For example, if the first time you listen to a track, the per-minute fee is $0.0008, then the second time you listen, the per-minute fee could be like $0.0016, and so on.

It is basically taking the stream2own model, but trying to divide the per-stream cost into a per-minute-streamed cost.

This is probably even more confusion being added to a seemingly already hard to understand streaming model for listeners, but just a thought for the future, to help Resonate better accommodate longer works down the road.

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There has not been.

I feel like a poll of members would be a great way to see where membership stands on the pricing model.

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Happy New Year @Austin! I hope this is a great year for Ampled. :slight_smile:

If Members sought to make a pricing study a priority it could be part of the Spring General Meeting agenda.

@austin Looking back through this thread, I wanted to respond to this point:

IMO another problem with the stream-to-own model is that if people are listening to Resonate on random, they end up paying significantly less to rights holders than even Spotify.

On average, Artists are earning better than twice the Spotify rate per play on Resonate.

On a case-by-case basis however, some artists can earn below the overall historical average, particularly in the early plays.

To address this, some Members have been analyzing a proposal that would guarantee an Artist earning credit greater than .01 € / per play without raising the per play cost to the Listener. This would work by basically subsidizing low cost Listener ‘discovery plays’ with penny-per-play advances from later, high-earning ‘purchasing plays’. Under this proposal the Co-op would cover any deficits generated by unrecouped subsidies. Early projections suggest the potential cost to the Co-op would be extremely low.

I’m hoping this proposal is written up for Member consideration before the next earnings period.

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Hi Rich! Yes, fully agree… The historical modelling shows this is affordable and it’s looking good from a forecast perspective too.

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