Owning music on Resonate thoughts

I always liked the stream2own model in principle more than practice. I’ve not looked around for a while and whilst logged in spotted that I ‘own’ a couple of tracks. I remember mostly buying these outright, just to see how it works.

First, it’s a shame that tracks feel very divorced from albums. I own tracks, there’s no simple way to own an album without going track by track.

Second, I can’t download so do I actually own? I do in the sense that further streams will be free but that doesn’t feel the same as ‘ownership’.

Third, pricing ends up being super inflated in some cases e.g. AGF’s latest release (arachneshound) costs €9 on Bandcamp and would work out as ~€45 on Resonate (see https://agf-poemproducer.bandcamp.com/album/arachnesound and Resonate) as it’s 36 tracks at €1.25 each (to own outright).

In some cases, this pricing might work out the complete opposite e.g., an album consisting of one 45min song. I’m not sure how I feel about that either. I do know that, as an artist, I don’t want to start worrying about how to divide an album up to make pricing fair (to either myself or listeners).

I know I’m comparing apples to oranges to some extent. I’ve read the old deep dive on stream2own and there’s a pricing model around how many listens for an average monthly price considering the number of new and repeat listens etc. That I could listen to ~900 songs for ~€5 per month.

I’m comparing buying music on an online marketplace to streaming. But there’s a part of me that wants to accumulate and collect music.

I’m not approaching Resonate in the same way as I used major streaming platforms. I’m not going back and listening to the music of my youth. Or the bands I never actually got into at the time as it was harder to come by pre-internet. I’m not making driving playlists or using playlists by others for music discovery.

I know there’s a desire for human curation at Resonate which is great but it’s not there yet so doesn’t really help me yet. Resonate is only really populated by a small niche of music. Also, it’s hard to find things without genre tags, relationships to other artists, recommendations (human-curated or otherwise).

I know it seems like I’ve gone off track from stream2own but… it feels like I’d be streaming e.g. AGF’s new album on Resonate just for the sake of it when I could just buy it for €9 on Bandcamp, still know that most of the money goes direct to the artists, stream from the Bandcamp app, and download and load into a media server, or on my phone, or do any number of other things.

Why doing that on Resonate doesn’t feel like a good use of my money is tied in to everything else (lack of catalogue, lack of discovery, lack of playlists, lack of curation etc.) but ultimately leads to me feeling unconvinced by stream2own. Why then would I listen to a niche indie record on Resonate rather than buy it on Bandcamp?

Sorry that’s all negative but I’m not complaining, I just wanted to share my experiences and see if anyone shared my views or had a different take etc.


The newer version of the player has playlists (here’s a short one I made) and makes searching by tag a lot easier (here’s my search for #piano).

This UI is not the default however, but is the only way I use Resonate due to all the items you posted.


Thanks @boopboop, that newer UI definitely helps. It feels more enticing to explore. I’ll have a proper play over the next few days :+1:


Here’s some context on the current situation with downloading owned tracks :v: Definitely a priority item!

And a deep analysis by members of the shortcomings of stream2own, along with ponderings of other approaches.


At the risk of being overkill - why isn’t the new UI the default?

It’s timing and integration. End to end. We need to get better at this, with limited resources.

On stream2own: we’re a caring, agile, co-op community. If it’s wrong we can fix it so it’s fair for everyone. Let’s get it right.

On other well known platforms, it’s the big shareholders who get the benefit, 'cos they own it.

We own our platform. As a community that cares, let’s get it right.

@thehouseorgan yes the whole album checkout pricing needs to be sorted out!


Thanks for these, I’m diving in now.

I just plugged some numbers into a spreadsheet as I got a bit more curious…

The AGF example I used above is available on Bandcamp at €9 album d/l, and €1 per track (so €36 if bought track by track).

On Resonate, it’d cost €5.53 to stream the whole album 6 times and €11.16 7 times. So between 6 and 7 streams costs ~ the same as buying outright on Bandcamp. Actual ownership, after 9 plays, on Resonate would cost €44.89. On another thread, the positives of an actual cap on what a track/album can earn from a user has been discussed and, in this case, if the cap was €44.89 that’s good for the artist but it represents poorer value for the listener (purely economically, there’s other value of course).

Just because I was checking out their Bandcamp catalogue I thought I’d also compare this release from Superpang The traces of a mistake, the most simple one possible the reactions of even younger children | Rohan Drape · Anthony Pateras | Anthony Pateras

It’s 3 long tracks (so overlaps with the other thread on that issue) and costs €6 on Bandcamp. Individual track purchase has been disabled. Full Resonate ownership after 9 plays of 3 tracks comes in at €3.74. That’s undervaluing the release and an unfavourable cap for the artists.

I’ll leave that there for now. I’m essentially adding noise to your clear and concise response but sorting it out looks like a nightmare!

Anyway, I’m super stoked these issues are being discussed and seriously considered :raised_hands: Is there a specific discussion around checkout pricing beyond where it creeps into the discussion on longform music?


This thread popped up for me for some reason so dove in and I think it’s an interesting discussion. The main argument, that Resonate is more expensive in some regards compared to alternatives, is probably one of the big challenges in driving adoption.

Here’s my personal take on it:

I think it’s a bit one-sided to only say that Resonate needs to become cheaper to fix this issue. The argument is “This music is cheaper at X than at Resonate, and that is a problem”. You could interpret that as Resonate being too expensive, but you could also interpret it as X being too cheap.

For example, why is the mentioned album so cheap on Bandcamp? Is it because the author thought “I can live a good life on 9 euros/per album sale” or is it because they thought “If I charge more than 9 euros people will think its overpriced and not buy it”? The former is unlikely. If you try to price yourself according to the market, which is currently unsustainable (as argued many times), then, well, naturally you will not make any progress in improving the situation.

Just like how I as a consumer can choose to buy clothes from crappy slave-like working conditions vs. clothes from reputable and ethical companies, I can choose to pay what is, perhaps, fair, for music. I am not arguing that Resonate sits at the absolutely perfect price point, or that there shouldn’t be idk recurring customer rebates (e.g. if I listen a lot to a single artist, albums don’t matter), but simply that it is unfair to compare Resonate pricing with the pricing that an artist set based on market rates rather than what they most likely felt like they deserve.

Ultimately, if an artist started getting sales on Resonate they might feel confident to raise their prices elsewhere as well. Or promote the platform, or do other things that improve the situation.

And at the end of the day, I think it’s also important to decide whether Resonate is trying to “lure in”/take market share purely through typical market tactics (better product, maybe slightly more ethical pricing etc. etc.) or whether it’s simply trying to make people realize what the actually “correct” ethical pricing is, and getting them to realize the benefits of doing things in a fully ethical fashion. An EU clothing maker knows they can’t compete price-wise with the big boys that buy from cheap countries with crappy conditions, so instead they just try to highlight the ethical benefits, play on human emotions, etc. to get someone to pay 30 euros for a t-shirt instead of 10. Does it work? Idk, they seem to grow in numbers so maybe?

Anyway, maybe this has already been argued to death somewhere else, just figured I’d throw my thoughts in this specific thread since rn it felt like it left on a very inconclusive note :slight_smile:

(As a side note, abnormally long tracks is also of course a separate issue)


Great, thanks for adding your thoughts @fgblomqvist

I largely agree with what you say. I think what doesn’t come across in my own musings, but does in yours, is the aspect that there’s probably a lot of realignment for artists and listeners to go through on how to value music. I run the risk of just sounding like a cheapskate trying to find the cheapest content.

What I do think is worth remembering though, is the edge case I highlighted of AGF’s 36 track release. I can only speculate on how AGF came at the €9 pricing on Bandcamp but it isn’t a particularly budget release (my own music community, admittedly cheaply, generally operates around the £3-5 point, if not pay-what-you-like).

On Resonate, under stream2own, 36 tracks would clock out at ~€45 which is clearly an edge case for where s2o doesn’t quite work as intended.

So, yes to giving artists the confidence to charge fairer prices (e.g., increasing prices to fund a more sustainable income) but thinking about how to align overall release purchase/ownership price will still need some further thought in the future.


Yes, makes sense to me, thanks for the response.

The possibility of offering listeners and artists choice through a Resonate collaboration with Bandcamp (or other online music stores) has always seemed attractive to me. S2O is our distinctive focus and still seems attractive, even though unfair for the edge cases. Listeners can discover (in our niche) and buy on Bandcamp. Bandcamp could do with a decent ‘fair play’ player and playlister rather than buymusic.club stuck on a bandcamp api.