Old Thread on Distribution, Community, Privacy and Democracy

This is an old thread from Basecamp archive that may be of interest to a wider Audience?

Distribution and Community


hi all, if you make an app, will there be an offline mode ? always upset that the bandcamp app hasn’t

also was just asking the other day if there is an app that collects ALL podcasts, like web-scraping them and lead to the source, like letterboxd for movies … people linked me to podyssey, which is also trying to build a community, I know it is not what resonate is, just saying… models to learn from

also my mind goes mad ways… but to persuade artists to join resonate and invest time and content there… there must be a convincing reason, either truly politcal/infrastructurally and also money…

interesting lately how M.I.A. taking all her content to patreon … as of all things that did not work for music, wonder how that is going

right now for an artist like me it is till the most “profitable as in small” to submit to ALL platforms via a distributer… who via metadata adds a release to all platforms, spotify, tidal, youtube, deezer and all the others… bandcamp is extra … I have experimented with bandcamp only releases… it is after all (for my tiny name) not worth it

only the outcome/ pay from all these platforms… 0,00001 cent from spotify and 0,003 from tidal etc gets me some small income for a catalog of over 30 (small indie) records

artists will go where there be a little bit paid and will find new innovative politics of respect

but hard to imagine the stop using the big players… but who knows

let me know if this is interesting… i can go on

Nick Meyne
This is really helpful, thanks. On offline mode Augustin​ and I were discussing a ‘collectively offline’ mode for the PFCS proposal
…it could work with whatever local network, eg bluetooth or WiFi mesh, or whatever locally ‘buffered/shared’ files were available. Eg. A bunch of local artists share their work in their collective local network, with their own work and ‘favourited’ other work always available on their own device.

Nick Meyne

Community: Interesting how Spotify have left ‘social’ features largely to the big social media platforms. They have also hidden labels away so as to draw attention to their own playlist and catalogue ‘assets’ …and defend them. We are aiming to do the opposite, integrating playing and storytelling/playlisting as much as possible across a community of artists and active listeners.

I guess we can only operate in a community niche alongside the mega streamers… an ethical thorn in their side.

Nick Meyne
Scraping: Paul Lindner posted an idea suggesting a local listening “scrobbling” technique to prompt users to Play Fair whatever platform they were listening, using a Resonate stream to own pricing to pledge, and easily put ‘escrow’ credits aside for artists. Priming the Pump

Nick Meyne
I don’t know about a global podcast or music discovery service… there seem to be lots of them… and clever Google-scale search and AI needed to make it useful… I think I prefer ‘wisdom of the crowd’ style playlists where perhaps there is some human consensus and good-natured discovery and voting?

Nick Meyne
Persuade artists to join: I guess it’s mostly social and artistic, not an economic proposition for them right now and won’t be for a very long time. That is unless active listeners come in droves, herded in by artists. I want this to be as useful and successful as it can be economically. …Not just a virtue-signalling club for a small group of musicians.

Nick Meyne
Distributor relationship is very interesting. Maybe we are interesting to them much less as a very small source of revenue than as a place to discover and build relationships with new artists and emerging labels… I don’t know. Could we do more than pay and provide revenue/play stats for them???

Nick Meyne
Maybe we could be a friendly place where artists put their music first and showcase it and then ‘meet’ a ‘panel’ of distributors who offer lots of different options for mass distribution of their music. Maybe we could provide an online comparison tool to help artists make shortlists of distribution deals in what is a confusing ‘market’. Does that make any sense?

See http://howtoselfrelease.com/how-to-choose-the-best-digital-distributor-for-you/

@Terry Tyldesley,

From what I’ve learned at music biz conferences and as an artist, digital distributors mostly fall into two camps -

  1. big beasts who are selective / A&R in a fairly ruthless / mechanistic way based on pre existing popularity such as social media followers and number of streams. they do some pro-active marketing for artists eg liaise with spotify playlist teams, and take a 20% cut

  2. open to all cheap and cheerful distributors with a one-off small fee who do not do any A&R and whose processes are very automated eg distrokid (I use them after switching from ditto who started well but their customer service took a dive)

In terms of Resonate’s efforts, I don’t think trying to add a new layer / meeting place to the process would be worth the time spent.

However it is certainly worth trying to get more distributors engaged when we have the uploading power for large catalogues.

Also some record companies are very interested in Resonate but as distributors handle their releases, they want us to work with the distributors they already use rather than have to upload separately. So we’d need to look at that or have a very different upload offering.

Terry Tyldesley
following on from AGF

  • hi AGF :wave:! - excellent ideas and comments

it is noticeable how some quite big artists are experimenting with new ways of funding

UK grime star JME’s last album was not made available digitally at all inititally

then a few months later went up on itunes but not apple music or other streaming services

also godfather of grime Wiley is also working on a more community based plan for his next release

Nick Meyne

Re Distribution: Yes, thanks… clearly OTT to do the relationship brokering thing other than as community chat. If we grow we will need to think of labels and distributors as platform users and design for their needs eg: As a distributor I would like an efficient bulk uploading API / service and play and earnings statistics.

Nick Meyne
Re: Distaste for streamers, preferring community releases, very interesting!

Big streamers like Spotify don’t do much in the way of integrated social media because they prefer to plug into as many mass market social media platforms as possible and drive up the value of their immense catalogue and their own playlists as a digital asset - commodification of music again.

Maybe we could do the opposite by integrating the social tools… forum, secure chat, trusted collaboration and private playlisting around our platform. That might make us attractive to the leading edge of artists and fans.

The dilemma is that there wouldn’t be enough listeners for them to make money from mass plays at current pricing. We’d need to premium price for listening and hanging out, and that implies exclusivity to be viable. Maybe 2 tier pricing? Exclusive releases, plays at high rate or ‘buy now premium only’, then shift to normal rate for the non-exclusive?

re spotify, I think the electronic, techno community understands that, due to some ok writing:


i think we could organize a bigger campaign around a new streaming coop

re: “collective local network, with their own work and ‘favourited’ other work always available on their own device.”

this is very nice, bandcamp is trying this too, i dont think it is immensly working

what IS working is there editorial / journalist work, i think

can’t speak to playlists, I dislike them as an artist, they ruin everything… if playlists, then I appreciate the block function, tidal has… block artist or track … cause the WORST is a shit song coming on… make your own playlists on tidal is neat, practical for DJing or radio work, making own playlists good but i often have no time, i bet i am not alone

… what i dislike on tidal is that search is suggestion most famous “close” search before the real search… sucks so bad… often I can’t find an artist cause the search does not allow, very evil

re algorithms … i find astounding how soundcloud algorithms work and also tidal… very close matches … also I found stuff i never dreamed finding with keywords… for example looking for tracks theme based… works very very good on soundcloud

the bandcamp app for artists is nice btw !! different app

not the one for the listening… so much

Nick Meyne
thanks so much for the guidance and links - keep it coming!!

re wiley, cool … i guess the more famous the more play … like beyonce … world stop… carry on…

I read this very interesting article on bandcamp that after all concentrating on small niche mass artists has made them so strong

have you read that article, was around the bandcamp day!!!

I 'll read all your thoughts and think a bit more

Nick Meyne
Re campaign around a new streaming coop, could we reach out to ‘alliance partners’ …could we be complementary to Bandcamp? ie we don’t do downloads, we do stream 2 own, and pass the credit value for owned tracks to them on their visit to the artist page as a ‘voucher’ against stuff on that page?

that is a sweet thought, it actually bothers me that bandcamp streams are not paid at all… i have 90k streams… unpaid for … also i wonder what they do with our data, it sucks no one knows, transparency could be good!!

i had some arguments on twitter about this … other artists think it should be free streaming … but resonate idea is so much better

actually thinking about this: ‘alliance partners’ complementary

interesting could be boomkat for this… i think their player/ preview actually sucks and it could be complementary ???

So we could go and talk to Bandcamp about this? For co-op artists, we’d be asking for a ‘promoted’ or ‘exclusive’ stream link back to us and maybe an easy Coop sign-up and pay option for listeners who want more than 45secs play, using bandcamp credentials to join the co-op (we could do that via their ‘fulfilment’ api). We might defer a coop membership charge until after a few visits…

[looks at Boomkat] wow yes I see what you mean!

Nick Meyne
…and they have a nice gift voucher thing, something that we have much talked about…

Do we know anyone at Boomkat?

I know people who know people at boomkat. I might know them too but not sure… let you know soon

Nick Meyne

Boomkat: "…a specialist, independent online record store that has been trading since 1998 when we opened up a record store in Manchester called Pelicanneck.

We have been online since 2002 and in that time we have supplied the finest Vinyl, CD, Cassette and Download releases to customers in over 100 countries.

Our focus is not on any one particular type of music; instead we are constantly on the lookout for what we consider to be the most innovative, exceptional, interesting and often overlooked music out there - regardless of where it has come from or who it is made by."

Sounds like a nice cultural fit with us? Could we persuade them to put all their artists up on Resonate (with permission) so they could ditch that nasty player and focus on their sales and storytelling / journalism? (Although their site looks a bit like an off the shelf ‘shopify’ store, I think it is their own dev work?)

If these guys are shipping / downloading mainly to UK/EU, maybe we could have ‘regional’ deals with other similar operators who might also fear competition from Bandcamp? Not sure how you would handle catalogue ‘overlap’ in that case. (artist decides precedence?)

Exciting suggesion on live streaming tools from @peter and chris hobcroft here… exactly the sort of thing that might stimulate an active storytelling music listening community, especially right now when we are all stir crazy and there’s no gig money… we could put a livestream behind a buy now button?.. or after a few minutes of listening???

What do you think?

Hey guys,

Happy to introduce you to Chris Hobcroft who was an early Resonate volunteer. He’s been working with LivePeer for a few years. If you read the article below, I’m sure you’ll get plenty of ideas how their tech could apply to Resonate:

I use OBSstudio and find it a great open source tool for recording stuff and personally I find it easy enough to make basic recordings, but I haven’t tried the live streaming options. There is a great community around it… but I have no idea how artists on Resonate would view working with it? I don’t like the idea of using proprietary and privacy-invading Zoom, which seems to get undeserved exposure … e.g Thao & The Get Down Stay Down - Phenom (Official Music Video) - YouTube

Democracy and Privacy

Morning, the main thing i miss now on all platforms is democracy, some say… so if resonate is a coop, means transperancy, that be a great innovation… any association with surveillance tech even OBSstudio, could be compromising…
is there a way to build ethical technology ??? at all ???

again: Etherpad

Nick Meyne
AGF​ Good Morning! Yes it is perfectly possible to build secure privacy respecting technology, but tech is only a part of a solution… people and process surround the tech, and that is why so much today is compromised… people trade off their privacy for convenience, or fall for simple social engineering techniques that breach not only their own privacy, but that of a community. Some say decentralised peer to peer tech is ‘the answer’. It isn’t. It could be a part of an answer, a systemic, human and tech design, arrived at through a transparent governance process where we all decide, together, what is right for us. Ironically, that governance process itself needs to be designed and bootstrapped. :wink:

Nick Meyne
For artists, publishing any sort of photo portrait is a dilemma… it’s a digital biometric actively used in state and commercial surveillance and tracking. But it may also be intrinsic to a relationship with an audience in performance. Something that is necessary and offered in a relationship with audience members… who ‘pay to see you’ as part of the gig ‘transaction’, or expect to meet up with you as a fellow artist. Too much is shared, indiscriminately. I think we should use personas, or representations, much much more. I’m very suspicious of celebrity image culture but I am also conflicted, because it is that culture that still brings in paying audiences/listeners to platforms and that can allow a wider community of artists to have a living wage. We know we can implement the tech part of the identity and privacy controls (that is what our IRIS project is intended to do) but I don’t know if there is a community of artists and listeners who care enough about this to get it done.

On transparency in governance I think we should allow any member to put proposals forward on community forum for voting by those who care. We could use loomio or something fancy, but the poll builder on Discourse seems good enough. The key thing is for proposals to be well formed: context, purpose (why), core idea (what), alternatives (how, something else, or not at all), and resources needed (with what, when, how much) so that proposers think ideas through and share before voting.

Here’s an example of a member-driven governance process: