Notes app musings: proposals for resonate community to consider from a label perspective

hi! i have had this as a working draft in my iphone notes app for the last week or so and i finally think it’s too unwieldy and i just need to share it lol, so here goes:

resonate ideas //

  1. leveraging the ideas behind Community Credentials and this post by @nphilmasiakowski, artists should be granted the ability to generate free or near-free download codes for selected works. specifically to to rival bandcamp’s current stranglehold on this. this would get listeners redeeming downloads on resonate (they OWN their DLs once redeeming. some ppl might take them and abandon the platform, but surely a % will stay and resonate the co-op and resonate the platform will grow and benefit from this over time). obviously this would need to be approved and initiated by an artist on the platform. currently, on Bandcamp, download codes cost money or credits which you earn 1,000 of for every $500 in sales you do (so for higher volume selling accounts that do a lot of sales, credits usually can cover the expense). but otherwise, they are—i believe—2¢ a code (i need to fact check this). regardless, there is a cost. if possible: make it so there’s no cost on resonate so that artists will create them here. for listeners, a redeemed download code == listening to a track on resonate on their 10th listen (that is to say, free, they own it). for artists, that’s a new follower and advocate of their music on a platform that pays them fairly. based on what i’ve seen with Community Credentials implementation so far, this is also a new follower on the platform that the artist can then engage with and vice versa. eventually, it’d be cool to maybe give more control over the look of these DL codes and create pdf printable codes that look awesome so artists will be encouraged to customize and print them for use in vinyl records, cassettes, or even as standalone merch items themselves. this could potentially get download cards into the hands of thousands of listeners for even just a single artist. the label i run—, for example—creates hundreds of thousands of Bandcamp download codes a year in this way for us and our artist roster. if resonate created a way for me to generate and use codes that worked in a similar manner, i would absolutely consider switching and i think i’m not alone in that sentiment.

  2. public API. but specifically something offering endpoints to allow a third party (read: me and other developers in the topshelf discord server that are interested in helping) to build an app that can assist artists and labels that have substantial catalog to bulk ingest their titles on to resonate (if you can divulge, i’d love to hear more specifics about the music uploader y’all are working on now—it’d be great to know what you’ll be wanting/needing from artists/labels for ingesting, and also, i think it’d be cool to consider artist/label input on that as well fwiw). Making it easy to add existing catalog—to BULK add catalog would be a huge win for growing the platform and artists, and definitely labels to join.

  3. adopt a metadata standard. COALA IP? Forgive me if y’all already have this sorted, I couldn’t find anything—I’m curious what the standard is currently though!

  4. i think this is happening to some degree, but i think there’s room to lean into it more: challenge current systems more by presenting resonate as a viable—THE—viable alternative! draw attention to artists on your platform on socials. lean into successes. lean into off-platform successes artists using resonate are having (like i know Lorraine James is on here and has had some p4k love for example, that kinda stuff can be echo’d while also mentioning/linking to their work on resonate). if you are sharing these sorts of things on socials adeptly, artists will want to echo your sentiments and share as well. Bandcamp Friday is a thing for a reason. People really are trying to support and connect directly with artists! We should be rallying people to take the altruism that they approach BC Fridays with and apply that to all the time, like, as the standard. the standard they can mutually share in and take part in and shape. people do not know this is what resonate is about and they need to hear why resonate is different—especially if that comes from artists and labels. we need to get people excited in the idea that by investing our collective attention in co-ops, web3 dapps, and community-driven protocols/platforms that embrace this new paradigm, that we can build a better model for music and countless other niches. We need to be letting people know the alternatives exist ALL THE TIME NOW, not ~the far off future~, not just the first Friday of the month, and not at a fixed .00X per stream (now with ~payola!). It’s here now if we make it!! People want to support musicians in sustainable ways now more than ever, but the experience to do so needs to be viable and frictionless, and the incentive to do so compelling enough to leave what already “works” for them. I feel like resonate isn’t quite there but is knocking loudly at the door and that has me really excited!! this leads me to my next points which center on incentivizing fans, artists (or, let’s also more broadly say “master recording rights holders”) to show up, stay, and keep coming back:

  5. down the line (maybe sooner than later though?): give listeners the tools to create user-created playlists with minimal friction. these can be automated to start, even (“liked” tracks, purchased/owned tracks). highlight and feature user curation where possible within player / resonate site. a bonus would be if they were embeddable, but wouldn’t play a song more than 1x unless you had an account and were logged in. allow people to follow each other. the homepage can then be a mixed feed of resonate-curated content, but also content from artists / labels / curators / peers that a listener also follows. i mean tbh, this was the myspace secret sauce lol—people routinely came back to the watering hole. i think this would make for a more compelling homepage experience and would personally have me returning to see what’s new from the entities I have specifically chosen to follow (this is important imo) along with thoughtful curation from resonate staff. this should be the logged in home experience imo! for me, this logically goes to:

  6. should curators be incentivized with credits or some other reward mechanism for how much they bring success to an artist? to incentivize people sharing music? howevvvvverrr, see also: COULD THIS BE ABUSED? Could this create an undesirable outcome or unforeseen and unintended financial component to listening on resonate? but if so, does that even matter since if the co-op identifies this as bad, shouldn’t they vote appropriately to dismantle/augment/deter it? idk! i think it’s a cool idea, but needs more thought. but i think it could be a great way to incentivize people to join because, “hey, while you’re over there paying $12.99/mo to rent music, over here we’re listening to own music and earning alongside artists when we take part in their successes”. that’s a message that would turn heads (and ~resonate~ with people, even).

  7. down the line: editorial component? need to be mindful of maintaining credibility and not exposing the platform and writers to conflicts of interest/bias/etc.

that’s it for now lol. i’m sorry if i come across as just barging in here on my second post lol! i promise i have thoughtfully read/lurked a ton of the posts in here before i decided to jump into the discussion myself. this is coming from a place of excitement and hopefully reading in a way that comes across as building upon existing ideas and discourse that have thoughtfully taken place already here.

tl;dr: i have some ideas and want to help advocate for resonate!! i genuinely think every independent artist and label that’s currently clamoring to sing the praises of Bandcamp while simultaneously running the spotify and Apple Music rat race to the bottom needs to be kicking the tires on resonate (pls note: not to take anything away from BC, i love them and think they’re a fantastic company—but still a commmmmmpannnnnnnyyyyy~). i would like to use the modest platform and standing i have been afforded with my label to rally music peers and followers to join. a big part of that would be giving artists and labels the tools to make adding their music (audio/art/metadata) to resonate as frictionless as possible.

thanks for reading and for any dialogue that comes from this!! <3 :vulcan_salute:


Hey @topshelfrecords,

Thank you so much for sharing all of your awesome ideas with the Resonate community!

If I understand your points correctly, Resonate should be working on a few of the things you mentioned above, like bulk uploading/a better upload tool and playlisting (in particular), but keeping this information readily available and up to date is another thing that Resonate has been working through as well, so definitely a lot of opportunities to make things even better!

I appreciate you spending your time to critically think about Resonate from multiple perspectives, and it really stood out to me when you mentioned,

Resonate has been doing some amazingly innovative things that could flip the music industry on its head, but with that said, I also feel like there is a fine line between doing that, and also focusing on the standard features that people have come to expect from a music platform. These innovations could be game-changing, but if it isn’t just as easy for the user to listen to music and discover artists as they would on Spotify, I too am afraid that people will be reluctant to use Resonate.

I also really like your idea of a feed for Resonate profiles based on the artists, labels, curators, etc. that you follow. Soundcloud’s stream was nice to me back in the day, but I feel like it got too busy for me as the years went on. Maybe that’s my own fault, but either way, if Resonate could develop a feed the right way, I think that could be a cool way to discover new music and stay up to date with the artists and people that you follow.

Thank you so much for your enthusiasm, ideas, and dedication to helping Resonate build, and hopefully this forum can be a great place for you to do just that.

Also, I’ve been busy with work and things as of late, so I haven’t been as involved with Resonate as I used to be, but feel free to reach out if you have any other questions, or if you need anything!

Thank you,

  • Sam Martyn

TW: this is going to be a long post, I’ll try to make a tl;dr version at the bottom.

I think this topic is great and there are two things I like about it : 1/ it does not focus on S2O and I think that’s great because there are so many great ideas to be found outside of S2O, and most importantly : what are features that artists want beyond fair payment? 2/ I like the ideas it proposes and it correlates to a discussion we had with @brndnkng and @Hakanto during a meeting session which I’ve been thinking to translate into a topic creation for a while.

For now I’ll use this one as the template and I’ll reply to a few of the propositions and include some of my own.

About the download codes problematic you point at, actually this sparks a conversation that’s been ongoing on several topics already but that we should in my opinion formalize a little more frontally : Is Resonate really competing with Spotify or isn’t it really, fundamentally, competing with Bandcamp? Here I don’t necessarily mean competing in the capitalist term (although ultimate we’re forced to because we live under capitalist terms worldwide), rather than something that could absolutely be coopetition (ie. providing complementary services). Still, the fact remains in my opinion that since both Resonate and Bandcamp propose to pay to own music (either through microtransactions on a sort of leasing based service or through direct pay-what-you-want with a minima payment on bandcamp) and to give artists control of their own pages, they’re much more alike than Resonate and Spotify.

I say we should formalize this because the terms of “being an alternative to Bandcamp” are very different to that of “being an alternative to Spotify”. Spotify is an easy opposition to antagonize, they’re bad on so many accounts, Bandcamp on the other hand is beloved by many and is currently on the capitalist marketplace the safest area for more niche music and independant musicians. So this really raises a more complex question : what would make for a better or at least viable alternative to Bandcamp?

@topshelfrecords gives us a first clue here with easier management of download codes for example but I think we can go one step further.

Ultimate what I think Resonate should WANT to be (meaning : that’s not what it is right now and not even clearly the goal as of yet, but I think that’s what it should aim for) is a Bandcamp service that retains some of the use cases of “traditional” streaming services.

But then what does that mean ? Well it means we should remember one thing that makes Bandcamp stands out in the current indie landscape and that @topshelfrecords hints at in his proposals : Bandcamp is currently, more or less, the page artists share when they want to direct people at their music, far before their personnal websites, when artists do actually still have one which is not that frequent anymore. Why? Because music is free to listen to there and directly accessible from the front page, because the merch is immediately visible and displayed in an enticing manner, because the aesthetic of the page is somewhat left down to the artist, because the price is set up by the artist and immediately displayed creating a meaningful connection between work = money value, and finally because artists have access to most of the data they need from their dashboard about user interraction with that page.

All those reasons made Bandcamp ubiquitous as a music player for people who don’t care about the features provided by streaming services and prefer to rely on a mutual understanding of what’s valuable with their listeners, would it be at the cost of locking themselves up into Bandcamp as an ecosystem when said ecosystem is much much smaller than Spotify/AppleMusic & co.

Much smaller ecosystem… yet enough enticing features that it still makes artists want to use that instead of the big competitor… to the point of making that ecosystem the “entry point” for their music to listeners and advocating for it by doing so… do these problematics remind you of something we might be trying to do here?

Sadly that’s not what Resonate is right now, but what if it were? As it stands, Resonate as a feature set and UI-wise is more or less a textbook copy of Spotify and most other streaming services, with a “fair twist” on the business model which could or could not bring people along depending on if that works out. It’s an ok starting point (the new UI looks like a great canvas for future improvements), but we could do much more in my view, and that starts by borrowing things from the Bandcamp textbook of “artist pages” and improving them.

Right now, artists pages on Resonate are boring and merely just a redundant use case from having a list of songs made by the artist but with another UI design.

On Bandcamp, artist pages are somewhat better, a little personalized, but Bandcamp chose to make them streamlined both out of a little laziness in terms of inventivity, a desire for an experience that’s consistent from pages to pages to avoid confusion, and some other design decisions I won’t get into.

Now here, I think we could take a hint from instead which is, for those unfamiliar with it, often presented as “the Bandcamp for videogames”. Since it knows it’s speaking to code fluent people and the various excentric, fringe and niche artists of the videogame world (again, ring a bell? makes you think of some service?) it allows them an almost full customization of their page if they so wish. It gives you pages like this :

But should you not like that at all you can always default to the more classic “default” templates

You’re still on all the time, you’ve got access to your account through the small button on the upper corner, you can follow artists you like, all of this is still the same ecosystem you know except creators have a much bigger control of what they can do to make it look more like them and here the thing is :

The more it looks more like them than “the platform”, the more they’ll be enthusiastic to share it with other people even if “the platform” isn’t as big as elsewhere. Especially if there’s no competition on that front, and the way I see it, since the death of Myspace, there hasn’t been a service that let music creators be that free with the way they present their work while still being part of a unified ecosystem.

So make artist pages more like their website, allow them to create a unified look that makes the website and the Resonate page share a similar DNA, and I’m sure you’ll start to see a lot of people take advantage of that. Those who don’t want to can just leave the standard template as is or just add a nice header or a nice background and call it a day. Let creativity breath, we’ve learned so much skills throughout the years because capitalism forced us to, but we’re yet to have a platform where we can showcase that in a meaningful way, and nobody go on our personal websites to discover our music anymore since pretty much a decade now. Make Resonate a bridge to our universe so that people want to see more, rather than just yet another music player.

I would also argue that it would be great for artists to be able to have their blog/newsletter service on Resonate. And I say blog/newsletter service consciously : I want them to be able to import data from another service and use Resonate as a “fine-tuned” taylor-made interface that doesn’t lock them up within the ecosystem : their listeners are their own, their data is their own, their page is their own, if they want to add a paid subscription newsletter through maybe the “credentials” system could offer listeners a month or two on that newsletter, maybe the newsletter feed could be routed into Resonate so that the users don’t have to create another account and can access the updates in their Resonate page or by mail or by RSS feed whatever. This would make the Resonate page an actual hub for all the ways the artist wish to talk to its listeners, a hub he could keep control of which means a place he could choose to leave without losing any of the data/people he found through its ecosystem.

This brings me to the “follow each other” proposition noted by @topshelfrecords, I couldn’t agree more. It’s already been voiced out by my collegue actually in this post :

And I fully agree. Actually again, let’s note this is a service that’s already available not only on Bandcamp, where you can follow both artists and users, and those “streams” are conveniently separated so that you have both a column where the artists you already appreciate will appear, and another where you see things supported by the people whose taste/music approach you trust.

It’s great in a sense that Myspace keep coming up because as I said elsewhere, Myspace, through it’s chaotic energy and still to this day weird feature set yielded some great results, except that those results were absorbed by capitalist interest, corporate owned powers because the underlying structure was absolute crap. You see the “code your own page” energy appear on, you see the “your space for your music with a simple player and a “buy” button” energy appear on bandcamp, you see a “music feed with all the artists I like in real time” energy appear on soundcloud. So there are things to take away from that failed experiment, except under a more artist friendly structure, one that’s not bent and turned on its head by libertarian silicon valley individualist logic and structures.

On to your last point about curation.

I think it’s a critical issue that hasn’t yet been adressed enough on this website. I can point you to this discussion we had a few months back though :

I tried, with the help of other insightful people in this topic, to adress a lot of the pitfalls / potential abuse of incentivizing curation by looking at the behaviors happening in competing offer where curation is officially not incentivized (but really actually is under modern forms of payola), but I also point out one crucial aspect : if we’re to accept (and we should) that music is socialized work, in a era where music has been made increasingly accessible to all, curation is not only key, it’s also a lot of work and requires a specific skillset and it will be fundamental that we get these types of people onboard so that they can help others discover new music realm.

If this is work it needs some kind of compensation. It’s okay if we don’t do it, we’ll just be like everyone else. But if we can manage to find something that’s fair to everyone (and yes it can mean not just music creators), it will make us stand out of the crowd.

I’m much more ambivalent on that front to be honest.

I must say I’m both appreciative and embarassed that Bandcamp Daily is currently one of the best mainstream(-ish) news outlet for music. The simple fact that a website that lives under the umbrella of a private music store is doing better work than so many big historical supposedly “independant” newspapers is confounding and a bit annoying sincerely. It’s also a clear (and conscious on their part) form of gatekeeping as I think they wield a lot of power with that in regard to what gets listened to on their platform.

Which means if there was to be a Resonate “Daily”, we’d need to find ways to make it more than just an editorial news site, we’d need to make it an expression of the community. But then again being a journalist is an actual work, it means understanding the importance of contextalized information, it means recouping several sources sometimes etc.

If it’s to just have another cultural news website that says which music is good, frankly I’d rather have nothing. I want actual editorial contents that analyses scenes, social context, means of production, profound interviews which adresses the music process, limitations, rules, I want something that makes a lot of efforts to bring journalists from Asia, from Africa, from South America, etc.

So since this is work, and the people who are knowledgeable about this kind of work already exists and we shouldn’t reinvent the wheel, there might be a whole thing there for us to look for : you don’t run a newspaper like you run a streaming service. Very complex issue.

OK, here’s the TL;DR version :

Various ideas on how to improve Resonate :

Resonate is more like Bandcamp than it is like Spotify so we should add features expected from Bandcamp-like services :

  • More artist customization to their own page (like on
  • Possibilities for artists to link their page to customized services (newsletter, blogging platform, sub based updates à la Patreon but decentralized etc.)
  • Possiblity for listeners to have different “feeds” based on either following artists or other listeners.
  • Find ways to incentivize curation in a meaningful and fair way that doesn’t create abuse. (see this topic)
  • If we choose to make an editorial platform, it has to be actual journalism and not just culture gatekeeping (ie. “we’re presenting to you what’s good” nothing is good to all, some things are just contextually interesting so we should talk about the context surrounding music and artists and not pretend we know best about its inherent value)

Kevin ~

THANK YOU for coming through the forum, dropping your ideas for Resonate and stimulating a great discussion.

The work @topshelfrecords has shared here has been absolutely vital.

To be honest, we’ve been in a doldrum for a while as we improve the player and build out the backend to properly support label catalogs. But the fog is clearing and your prescriptions are arriving right on time.

I hope you will continue to stay close and help bring the energy to realize the powerful global resource network the co-op has the potential to become.


@LLK, thank you for putting your time into this post! I really appreciate your writing. From your ideas, to even your vocabulary, it’s always interesting to read through all of your thoughts.

You bring up a lot of great points and ideas, and although I think some of these conversations may be a bit ahead of their time, the great thing about this forum is that we can always come back to things when the time is right, and the proper planning is in process.

With that said, I did want to touch on a few important takeaways for me from your post.

  1. I’ve always thought of Resonate as a fairer alternative to Spotfiy, not only because it’s a streaming service, but also due to the opportunities for improvement that I could see Resonate creating within its own platform based on the countless complaints that people have of Spotify. With that said, I’ll admit that I personally don’t know much about Bandcamp, but it’s sounding like maybe that is more of Resonate’s “market.” I’ve heard that a negative of Bandcamp is that it does work well for streaming, so perhaps “imitating” some of the things that Bandcamp does well, and building off of that could be the appropriate roadmap for Resonate. My personal experience has taught me that it’s always good to have a “role model” of sorts that you can mirror when you are building something, and then you can build off of that “role model’s” ideas to make an even better service that people desire. So, maybe Resonate’s goal could be to become more like Bandcamp, but with the ability to fluently stream music, all within a cooperative setting. Those are two big differentiators that I think Resonate could benefit from.

  2. I absolutely LOVE your ideas around Resonate being a “hub” for musicians and other music-related people. I’ve mentioned some of my ideas here throughout the forum, but I think it would be extremely powerful if Resonate could become a platform that did a lot of the things that creators need to do, but may not want to do, or may not have the time for (marketing, finance, networking/relationship building, etc.) By having everything in once place, my hope is that creators could focus more on their craft and the things that they enjoy, while the Resonate platform could allow them to be more efficient with how they use their time to grow their careers while their not creating. I am not sure if I would even go this far, but to a certain extent, my thought process is around the idea that the major labels and their subsidiaries had the time to really help artists, and instead, they seemingly took advantage of artists (for the most part). Now, we need a platform like Resonate to potentially embody this role for artists, but with fair and equitable technology as the driver, and not faulty human desires. Again, definitely going BIG picture here, like maybe even 30+ years down the line, but small things like being able to customize your artist page like Myspace, artist blogs/newsletters, or even having a Resonate “store” to showcase your merchandise and other things without having to spend money to build a website and drive traffic to the site like you normally would, could all be some great, realistic, benefits to help artists earn a living off of their craft, and build their own communities of followers and fans!

So, where does that leave us? Well, it sounds like some really promising things are taking place at Resonate with being able to build out the platform, the backend, and the additional features needed for Resonate to scale and have the resources to help implement some of these ideas. Perhaps we can continue to have these visionary conversations, while also working to take things one step at a time when it comes to developing a proper foundation for Resonate first, and working to bring in all of the resources that are needed. Hopefully some of these steps can help Resonate slowly start to bring some of these awesome ideas to life!

Hope all is well with everyone, and I appreciate everyone’s willingness to build within this space and with this community.

Thank you!


A thousand times yes to LLK and Sam’s points. The potential parallels with Bandcamp have become clearer for me too lately and I’m amazed by LLK’s assessment of what that could mean for Resonate.

I don’t have anything big to add really, except these conversations are highlights of my days (thanks!), and actually hey, this forum for me makes Resonate stand out from other platforms so maybe there’s something really important there. Almost a daily routine for me to come here and read up, collect links and references to read later, etc. For someone who’s video-shy like me, I feel this is really important in still making me feel part of the community.

Oh, about curation/editorial content and the work involved / quality aimed - how about having community members be able to sign up for a “go” at cooking up something (“Hi, I’d like to write something about x”) - be it a playlist, a feature, a writeup of any kind, and have them paired up / mentored by a staff/pro curator/writer/contributor to help polish the article, and release it as a collab effort?


@CPacaud, thanks for the kind words! I agree that the forum is helping Resonate stand out as well, among other things, like the cooperative setting and the diversity of people and thoughts “at the table.”

I also like your idea about pairing people together to create what I’m assuming are articles and playlists that are designated under the Resonate “brand?” Either way, I really like the idea of having a mentor work with a new person at the start because although Resonate wants to incentivize individual freedom and the ability for people to freely contribute to the community, I think it’s important that there becomes some kind of “standard” that people can work with to make sure Resonate is consistently providing quality to the community, while also getting others involved. I could dive a bit deeper into this, and would also like to solidify the context a bit more beforehand, but that sounds like a great start for when we are ready to really tackle this idea! Thanks!


I read this and immediately think: why go through that trouble when you can just have this as a feature that is an optional part of curating a playlist. Like, if you make a playlist, there is a WYSIWYG editor where the curator can optionally write about the selections they chose, the overarching theme of the playlist, how they discovered these artists, etc. Make it clear it is optional. This lives on platform as something tied to this listener’s profile. It also could be tied back to an artist to show “playlists they appear on” somewhere on the artist’s profile.

IMO, this also starts to kick the tires at other unique ways listeners can approach music discovery within resonate. If they find a playlist because they came across it somewhere on the site, they might add a song or two from it to their own playlists, follow other artists they have discovered, and they also might choose to follow the listener/curator that created it. Using Community Credentials, you could even show how compatible each listener’s taste is to one another based on the songs they each respectively verifiably own. This simultaneously builds a more robust social network for the platform, which further encourages participation from all parties.

As far as making this clear in the UI/UX, maybe upon submission of the playlist and the filled out write-up, there is a checkbox that the curator can choose to tick that says like “by checking this box, i allow resonate to feature my playlist” with a little “?” tooltip after that to provide more info that outlines how that process works. this elevates curators and incentivizes sharing. it elevates and highlights artist work on the platform. and it does both of these things in community-centric ways. this is basically what people are already doing on massively popular sites like rate your music. This marks an important distinction in that it’s highlighting fan’s and curator’s voices, rather than having a top down “gatekeep-y” editorial component (lol, and listen, I knooowww I advocated for that in my initial post above lol, BUT, i think this would be easier to bootstrap and get off the ground and would also allow users to talk in their own voices, rather than having to worry about resonate publishing this stuff adhering to an editorial standard which the common layperson is gonna miss more often than they hit). Plus I think these are mutually exclusive ideas and they could exist side-by-side eventually.

to take this a step further, if a curator’s/listener’s write-up is featured on the platform in some way, then maybe this ties into point 6 in my OP:

Just riffin’ here!


Cool, that’s awesome to hear! As I mentioned in my op, I would LOVE to learn more about what sort of standard is being used here for the metadata and how resonate would prefer assets be labeled and organized for bulk uploading so that I can get going on that. I also might have ideas / feedback to share as someone that would be regularly ingesting bulk content, and as someone who has a catalog of 2,000+ songs. I want to see my label peers on here. And I want to see this grow immensely. We’ve all endured the absolutely terrible T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E uploading experiences at SoundCloud. We’ve all endured individually uploading our entire catalogs on to Bandcamp. We’re willing to do this because these communities are vibrant and flourishing. Resonate does itself no favors in having a difficult process to onboard catalog. I think a bulk uploader that rights holders should have as painless an experience as possible in uploading catalog to resonate. To prevent just anyone from using it, perhaps there is some sort of manual approval for the feature first, so you don’t have someone ingesting tons of media they don’t own the rights to. But yeah, of everything I mentioned to this point in this thread, some sort of onboarding/ingesting portal for bulk upload is the #1 thing that I personally feel should be implemented as you can take one single person’s actions and transform that into thousands of exciting new titles on the platform in one action. That’s HUGE imo!


I completely and enthusiastically agree with this!!!

To this, I offer you:

Please trust me when I say, the number one feature I see people request from Bandcamp is the ability to make playlists. I see it in message boards, I see it on Twitter, I see artists and fans alike lamenting the lack of support for it. I even see people using scrapers and building their own adhoc APIs to build custom solutions to try and subvert this problem on their own, independent of Bandcamp, like bndcmpr and Buy Music Club.


Playlisting adds such an interesting dynamic to the S2O model because it treads a well-worn path to ownership of the songs within. If you have a go-to playlist, the tracks in it are VERY likely to eventually be owned tracks in your library. This doesn’t even exist as a mechanic on Bandcamp, and on other services it pays a consistent paltry sum per stream. As the ecosystem grows and certain playlist properties become more coveted, this could begin to be meaningful money for artists that are curated by playlist owners in this way. Going further, artist accounts could also be granted the ability to make playlists of their own to feature on their own pages giving an artist the ability to showcase peers, inspirations, collaborators, etc. All of this broadens the musical world of everyone who participates and it elevates all parties who participate, enabling truly community-driven modes of discovery.

An idea that occurs to me re: “coopetition” with Bandcamp and identifying the Bandcamp listener-base as a more likely suitable base for Resonate than Spotify et al.,
On Bandcamp, listeners have “collections”. Something I can see for sure as friction to leaving a platform and joining another is now your music library is split. You own music in two separate, walled-off, non-compatible eco-systems. That’s a non-starter for many people because they don’t want to re-pay to own the same media on another platform (this is what has me most excited about web3 and platform agnostic ownership of media in the future, but alas…). I have no idea if this is technically even possible, or if it is something that doesn’t fall into an ethical gray area but I will put it out there as an idea and maybe someone else can riff on it: starting fresh on a new platform is annoying and it is a point of friction in the onboarding process of getting new listeners to migrate. Is there a way to allow listeners to connect their accounts from other services (enter their Bandcamp collection URL, connect to their Spotify or Apple Music accounts to grab library data, etc.) and use that to look for corresponding content on Resonate to mirror it so that as much of their experience on these other platforms can be setup at Resonate for them right from the start? For music in a listener’s Bandcamp Collection, this could mean that it gets added for free on Resonate if a Resonate artist agrees to that. This might be too left field an idea, I know—again, just riffin’ here.

It’s not lost on me that all of these ideas would require an immense amount of work btw!!!


YEAHHHHHHH I see it this way as well.

I agree with this. I do think that the fundamentals need to be really dialed in before anything we’re discussing in this thread can be acted upon. And the new player and new design in general really, realllly get us close to that point. From there it’s thoughtfully building modularly on top of that to create a feature set that borrows from the familiar and successful things of other platforms and [through discussions like this one] thoughtfully employs them in new and exciting ways to create an altogether different experience.

so, that said (nailing the fundementals), re: UI design,
I feel like an important and essential thing to maintain here is ease-of-use and navigation of the player and the site. implementing too much Myspace-era inspired itchio-esque customization could create a confusing environment that people can’t consistently navigate. So I think to start, customization should (in my humble opinion) be kept to just things like customized header / photo / maaaaaybeeeee text and layout colors and that’s probably it to start. Otherwise it could become a point of frustration. There are also accessibility and a11y-related concerns associated with that to consider!

Geez sorry I type way way too much :sweat_smile:


Something else I want to add, but idk if it warrants a new topic outright, is w/r/t artist onboarding and convincing artists and labels to join Resonate.

Something we do with Topshelf when we announce a new album on our website, is offer the ability for fans to sign up to be alerted the moment the album goes up for sale so fans don’t miss out. For example, we have an album for an artist (Weatherday) announced currently, but not available for sale yet (see here). When fans land on this page to learn more about the album, they are passively prompted to sign up if they’d like to be alerted when it goes on sale.

This is then reflected in our product inventory dashboard:

Which shows us that we have 1,653 people who have expressed they want to be notified when the album becomes available. In the last column, you can also see we have an inventory of 1,500 initially allocated here—so this will be in high demand when it becomes available, which is awesome! But my main point is: We have something that is unavailable. We provide a means to signal intent. and through that, we get input that informs a future decision (i.e. I will now order 2,000 records to start instead of 1,500).

I think this process of signaling leading to action can be repeated to great effect potentially on Resonate.

Currently, a very, very, very small fraction of existing artists have their work on Resonate. Which, that’s fine! But the goal is to get more to join. A search for “Weatherday” on Resonate yields a big blank page with the text “No results found”.

This, for a listener, is obviously a bummer, but more importantly, it’s an opportunity!! What if instead of a big blank page, it was utilized as a space to incentivize listeners to express interest in that artist to join resonate. Users can signal they want the artist to join, and maybe there are some calls to action with pre-filled things people can tweet at an artist.

I think API data from third parties like lastfm, Gracenote, or even Spotify APIs can be utilized to dynamically build out pages for artists despite them not having accounts on resonate yet. Consider them as placeholders. There could even be a prompt that says “are you Weatherday? 1,653 listeners want to hear your music on our platform! Sign up to start getting paid fairly to share your music with our community today” or something like that.

I don’t think you do this for like, The Beatles—or larger artists on majors—but you can target artists with a specific amount of listeners / scrobbles / followers / etc.—some criteria that clearly targets the independent artist community primarily.

To go further, to encourage this sort of stalwart behavior from listeners, their might be some sort of reward component if an artist they have signaled to come join the platform does in fact sign up, they are rewarded with credits or something related to that artist’s community on Resonate. In turn, the artist, upon signing up (let’s say Weatherday and their 1,653 listeners who have signaled they want them to join in this scenario), they would immediately have those listeners as followers to engage with and share updates directly to.

This could serve as a vehicle to signal to artists “a community is awaiting you here on Resonate” which I think could be a powerful motivator if the mechanics of this can be worked out. Of course, if an artist has an underwhelming amount of people signaling, maybe hide that number until it reaches some sort of threshold like >50 or something.


There is nothing THAT special about Bandcamp other than it is very easy to use.
Resonate is currently not easy to use as an artist.
Bandcamp is also ‘tried and tested’ as far as most artists I know perceive it. If I mentioned Resonate to friends of mine they would say “how is that better than Bandcamp”?
Initially I must say I saw Resonate as the fairer, more diverse equivalent to Spotify.
Playlists - great…fine… I have made playlists on lots of platforms, Spotify, Traxsource, Juno and Beatport - all without being paid. People always want to spread the word about their favourite music and artists.
I don’t think Resonate should copy anything that monetises participation in the same way most streaming services do. the most toxic of which is developing algorithms that push awareness of ‘trending’ tracks, or fast increasing streaming numbers. This is the ultimate lowest common denominator in music.
Additionally, many people are using their playlist stewardship to earn income. Which essentially leads to paying people to ‘like’ your music, whether officially or in the dark shadows.


Love this. As an artist, I would definitely want to be able to say “Look, I don’t want you to pay twice for my stuff, but Resonate is really cool, come have a look over here.” As a listener, I would love the ease of being able to start my Resonate experience from a rebuild of at least part of my BC collection over here. Like @topshelfrecords said though, immense amount of work for the developpers, no doubt. Maybe there’s ways to get partway there without doing a fully automated process though. I wouldn’t mind having to go through a couple of hoops as a early adopter to a platform. I’m a tinkerer though.

Great idea! At least a call to action - “Go talk to them about it!”. Tying this to some sort of incentivization to me raises some alarms as a system that could be gamed somehow, esp. if tied with awarding credits, but maybe it’s not too bad. Definitely has to be considered though.

Yeah, this is the type of territory that for me must be avoided at all costs, or I’ll go “Well, what was all this for then.” We should try to foster listening / sharing / producing through our shared love of music and make all the interactions around doing that as smooth as possible, not boost and game it through incentivization and “likes”. Growth will be slower, “friction” will be higher, adoption rate will be smaller, no doubt. That’s the price for what I believe and understand people are trying to build here.

1 Like

Re: Bandcamp v. Spotify

I wonder if folks have read this remarkable analysis → The Chaos Bazaar - Components

This prior post is also worth digesting (an essential resource for considering best co-operative implementations of genre tagging) → The Map and the Category - Components

FWIW a research contributor cited in The Chaos Bazaar, Cade Diehm / New Design Congress should be stopping by today’s weekly open technology chat (2021-05-07T16:00:00Z) Link:


I think you might have missed it be we had a long talk about it on this topic thanks to @RobertaFidora sharing this paper!


Thank you for the prompt, LL! I’ll cycle back to study and share.

1 Like

I think what’s special about it is the intensely supportive community of listeners and fans that engage with the platform and the artists on it. Spotify commands a massive user base, but it is increasingly a passive listening experience in my opinion. Bandcamp caters to active listeners. Further, Resonate is light years away from negotiating deals with the major labels [and idk this to be true, but I would imagine] or even Merlin and indie distributors, for that matter. So that leaves you with a far inferior catalog to offer to listeners comparatively. So in that sense, Bandcamp : Resonate is a more accurate comparison than Spotify : Resonate because both (out of necessity) need to target the independent music community. to get this off the ground, we’re gonna need inquisitive musical minds like yourself and everyone else participating in the early days of this nascent co-op. To sustain it, we’ll need the type of intensely supportive active community that Bandcamp currently enjoys because the cavalry of bulk catalog from major labels isn’t gonna come riding over the hill anytime soon, y’know?

Exxxxaaaccccttlllyyyyy. The alternative to Spotify in most listener’s minds already exists: It’s Bandcamp. That’s the competition. The vacuum has been filled. To be the alternative alternative, you truly need to innovate. In my opinion just because people will perform a particular behavior (like curating playlists in this instance) for free to begin with, that isn’t necessarily a good enough justification to not explore ways to further incentivize them to, y’know? I’m also not saying we need to force bad ideas or square-peg-in-round-hole stuff—just that innovating on what works and what could work is what’s gonna get this off the ground imo. And when we’ve collectively arrived at great implementations of great ideas (that stem from discussions like these!), that’s when you have the ever elusive “Well, I’ll tell ya how it’s better than Bandcamp, bud”.

So as far as UI and the interface of the player, etc.—yeah, I definitely agree with you. It’s Spotify-esque. And I think that’s good—I think it’s safe to say we all view this as a streaming service of some kind after all. But even the end result of owning the music is the same as Bandcamp (you can never own a song via Spotify et al.—you’re always renting). So idk, I think the similarities are there and it’s worth a closer look at the pros and cons of all of these various platforms, analyzing how they all are/are not compatible and building something that’s unique and truly useful after carefully considering it all.

I also, of course, view this forum as a means to see all conversations faithfully to their logical conclusions so I appreciate your contributions to the discourse here, even if we maybe don’t align on some ideas for implementation of certain things. :vulcan_salute:


@topshelfrecords Kevin thanks so much for the great content in this thread and also for others in the builds added below. We might capture these as development ‘epics’ and user stories going forward.

Vouchers: As a label or artist I want to reward a customer with a download or discount on a download for one or more of my tracks on Resonate so that they will become / remain a loyal supporter / customer

In theory, with Resonate, even without anything clever from Community Credentials, this might work something like this:

  1. Label/Artist asks the prospect listener to share their Resonate email signup address. (Or to sign up with Resonate if they are not signed up already, using the same email address.)
  2. Label/Artist uses a new ‘promote tracks’ feature on their Resonate ‘dashboard’ to specify user (email) and tracks (track ID) to be offered to the user and indicatehow much to subsidise. 100%? 50%? 25%?
  3. Stream2Own play levels are then boosted for that track for selected user(s) according to subsidy. Credits required to do this are calculated.
  4. Credits required are deducted (allowing for the 30% platform fee) from Label/Artist credit account (not from the listener’s credits account). This will offset future artist/label earnings from plays for that ‘gifted / subsidised’ track.
  5. Listener visits the track and gets to stream for free… and download.
  6. Label/Artist gets ‘redemption’ feedback… did the user redeem the offer?

That would seem to fit? No need for a voucher code and link… Just tell them there is a stream2own track waiting for them.

If step 1, if asking for a Resonate email address is too intrusive, then a voucher code system would be necessary, but would require the protection against double spend, as for Bandcamp vouchers.

However simple, I think it will need to wait until we have done some significant work on our very simple play accounting… new tracks API and new payment/accounting API and better webstats for redemptions.

Also, the ‘download’ part of this is dependent on some work on the catalogue files. Perhaps it should also be dependent on having signed up as a community member and having a player with a community credentials wallet… so that the HQ download was ‘by agreement’, landed somewhere convenient for offline play and was backed with the digital receipt in the wallet, which could be used elsewhere in the ecosystem.

Reserving the download feature for members might also help to grow membership for us? I don’t know… It’s just that a small, recurring membership fee is quite important in our business model.

1 Like

You nailed it yes, the reason why Bandcamp vouchers are so precious is they don’t require to create an account on the platform which I think @topshelfrecords will agree is an absolute prerequisite for a voucher service to be efficient for a musician. The goal here is to provide musician an easy service for them to reach out to managers, producers, other artists, friends etc. Many of whom will not want to bother with yet another account and will just want to access the music. In a sense, providing this service is not about Resonate, it’s all about empowering the artists, and what Resonate gains from it is if more and more artists start doing it, someone who entered their email 10 times already to get a voucher code for an album and see that they already own a small collection of 10 albums on that platform might start gaining interest in creating an account there to be able to access that collection at all time.

It’s how it works on Bandcamp and it’s an extremely powerful and non intrusive tool to get listeners onto the platform. Anything else will just pale in comparison.

Edit: to be clear because upon re reading it might not have been, how it works on Bandcamp :

You enter an email adress, it’s NOT creating an account (it’s just so that you recieve a mail with the link), and your voucher code.

It gets you to a page where you can download the album in any format (mp3 320, mp3 0, aif, aac, wav, flac)

This page also shows what other albums have been redeemed (either bought or through download codes) through this email adress to show you the “collection” you could access if you decided to create a bandcamp account.

I think we should litterally emulate that system 1:1 whenever possible.


So if Bandcamp verify the voucher codes using an email address to match with the one used to create the code and require the user to prove control of that address, the user would have pretty much the same experience as creating a sign-up account anyway?

That page showing the other albums redeemed for that email address sounds pretty much like an ‘account’ to me.

Perhaps it is just the perceived value of the code as a token that makes us think it necessary for the listener. Its value to the artist and the platform is as a tracking mechanism of course… ‘Closing the loop’ in the analytics so the platform knows who picked up on which promotion and when, because they have a redemption event to correlate with. Loyalty schemes are powerful.