Payout/ credit for user-made playlists

Yeah, agreed. I’m definitely not talking money here. I think this shouldn’t be anything but Resonate player credits that are never able to be taken off platform or otherwise convertible into any off-platform instrument of value. No one’s gonna game the system to make “money” if the reward is a credit that is platform specific, non-transferable, and value-less in all other instances.

Curation takes time and dedication to listening to music on the platform. —> Listening to music on the platform takes credits. —> Curating great playlist experiences that other listeners share and enjoy as a result of dedicating time to listening to music on the platform generates credits [repeat].


Wow, such an amazing discussion to stumble on to thanks to the forum reorganization.

I think there’s a simple way to abstract this whole issue… Make it about general attention.

If someone makes a playlist that keeps 10 people streaming for an hour each, that has value. Really the same thing if its 100, 1000, etc.

I’ve long imagined that a significant part of the co-ops 30% cut per stream would be spent as attention/referral marketing community bonuses, rewarded strictly in the form of credits. (Which of course creates beautiful circular momentum.)

To solve the popularity and undiscovered tracks problem… A simple design hack… “Never streamed” as an automatic filter.

Have more thoughts but getting annoyed typing on the phone LOL.

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The problem is popular isn’t the same as quality.
At the moment, in part due to it’s niche position in the streaming world, Resonate gives equal exposure to easy listening, as well as more ambitious, innovative music.
The lesson from mainstream streaming is that easy listening quickly obliterates all other more ambitious music, more innovative music. Of course even if no money or credit was offered as a reward, people want their playlist to be the ‘most popular’ on the platform.
It’s then more about receiving ‘likes’ or ‘credits’ than it is about showcasing ‘good music’. A very dangerous road to go down.
No one was ever paid to make a mixtape, back in the cassette days. It took a helluva lot longer than dropping a few streaming tracks into a playlist. People did it because they enjoyed turning on friends to ‘good music’.
I’m 100% NOT against playlists, I’m struggling to see a way to actually reward people for playlist creation while not creating a biased eco-structure.
I’m absolutely fine for paid playlists to be offered if they are from Resonate regulated sources, so there is transparency and no payola or corruption.


Yes but then that’s a “society based” problem (ie. outside of the scope of what Resonate can solve through regulation) not a “remuneration problem”. I mean if we use that argument, then it doesn’t matter that we pay credits or money to curators or not, according to your statement they’ll always try to go for the most popular things so that their playlists are popular, period.

So if instead, we make it more valuable (through credits or money or whatever other social incentive) to share things that haven’t been shared / that aren’t already referenced culturally as “popular”, it might at least help even if it’s in a small/marginal way, having playlists that are a bit more challenging because you have to GUESS if a work is going to be popular or not, you have no way of knowing if it is or not.

If we don’t have any incentive, as you say, it’ll just come down to the usual behaviors we see everywhere, which is basically attention seeking popularity contest (and we see on instagram and other social media platforms that there’s no need for a financial incentive for that to be the case). But if we tell people who are NOT interested in that, that they can have an impact and profit from the platform in a more meaningful way (ie. sharing unknown work gives them credits which in turns allows them to share more unknown work etc.) it might make them more interested in sharing on a regular basis.

I don’t think the number of “credits” recieved should be publicly displayed in the way “likes” are on social platforms. Actually, I don’t think there should be any counter of any sort (listening counts, likes, credits, whatever), while like systems can be useful, on a platform that aims to create a fair environement for artists, I think they’re just detrimental. I’m even relatively skeptical that we should indicate how many people are “following” or “subscribed” to a playlist because like you said, we’ve seen what kind of power struggle this created on Spotify for example.

Now, if nobody can see you’re successful, if nobody can tell you have more “credits” than the next playlist, and you are the only one who knows how “popular” you are with no means to compare yourself to other playlisters… then what would be the point of trying to be “the most popular” in the first place?

In essence I think that the fact people already act on a skewed basis towards popularity is exactly why we should find reward systems that are fair.

Nobody said it was going to be easy though, and what we certainly shouldn’t be afraid of is to try things, and if they lead to people complaining about users/playlisters screwing with our systems in a way we find unhealthy, just change them and/or abandon them altogether.

What would be in your opinion the definition of a “Resonate regulated source”?

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Many thousands of ordinary people have made Spotify playlists (including myself) with no reward whatsoever.
A ‘Resonate regulated source’ would be a team of accredited playlisters, over seen by Resonate the organisation. This would ensure a diverse selection of playlists and also people could report any suspicious playlisting.
I am honestly not against ‘money’ or ‘capitalism’, it’s just that the absolute worst thing about the mainstream streaming scene is the hiding of quality, ambitious creativity in the pursuit of ‘popularity’. The system is set up to over reward those artists with fast rising streaming numbers, at the expense of anyone more left field or innovative.
I see Resonate as a safe space for the next Nick Cave, or Holger Czukay, or Steve Reich. Which doesn’t preclude the hottest garage or RnB artist using Resonate for distribution, it just holds them in the same regard as more difficult to market artists.

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If playlisters were Resonate accredited (overseen) they could of course be paid.
It’s a huge negative for me if people are paid based on the traffic to their playlist, as obviously absolutely no one would then make a playlist of obscure Folk-Techno or poetry set to atonal classical.

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If it “holds them in the same regard”, it means they’ll win and you’ll get the same kind of shit you get elsewhere because precisely, the “unfair” aspect doesn’t happen within the platform, it happens before (through marketting money, through access to huge teams to work and produce more work more often than the competition, through the benefit of having more time due to priviledged background etc.).

If you compare how much money Björk or Thom Yorke made on Bandcamp compared to unkown musicians, you’ll get the same kind of rift than on Spotify because the system is rigged long before the music ends up on the store or on the player.

However it’s true the more unknown artist MIGHT make more money overall on Bandcamp than on Spotify. But Resonate isn’t Bandcamp, it’s a bit like Bandcamp but it shares Spotify’s “flaw” that it rewards on the number of listens (even if it rewards better), which means artist provoking a strong social incentive to listen to their work will get their money back more easily.

Here I think what we’re all trying is to find a playlist reward system that actually DOESN’T treat “unknown musicians” and “hottest music” the same way, and instead makes the sharing of unknown music MORE valuable than the sharing of already well established artists so that we see pop up a lot more playlists with a real desire to help people discover artists under the radar, than playlists as popularity contest.

That’s just privatizing the playlist work and it’s exactly the same as on Spotify. It would just give a few (paid) people all the power and it would just make for a new highly powerful class of gatekeepers, which would then recieve tons of music everyday, wouldn’t be able to sort it out etc. In essence, this would give us exactly what’s already out there. Best case scenario it would give us a sort of Bandcamp Daily editorial practice, which is good but nothing new and not great either.

The idea here again is NOT to incentivize playlist based on traffic, it’s to incentivize discovery of new work. It’s to push people to be bold and go listen more “out there” music and then share it, exactly like you seem to want.

I’ve made it clear in my post earlier above but I’m reiterating : if a song has been shared or already listened (ie. already found its target audience through the artist’s own marketting) above a certain threshold there is nothing to gain for the playlister, if there is nothing to gain we’re not “paying based on traffic”, it’ll just default to the usual playlisting habit, “share whatever, try to be popular, but we won’t finance that because it’s of no use”.

However, if someone makes strictly folk-techno, poetry and atonal classical playlists (I’d be eager to meet that fella by the way), it’s very likely that : 1/ he’d be a go to source for people who like that stuff because it’s a niche thing and not many people curate that kind of stuff 2/ he would probably be playlisting work that hasn’t been widely shared and so he’d benefit from it… UNLESS one of the songs on his playlists for some reason (used in a movie, or whatever else) becomes super famous, then he stops benefiting from it.

What if we say a playlister can only benefit during the first 200 listens (random example) ? Or better yet during the first 100 listeners reached ? (this way a playlister can’t capitalize on people being fans and listening to a song several times). I know of niche ambient musique concrète that could potentially gain a few thousand listeners because they have their audience, and in that aspect of things, it would mean that you don’t gain more to be “The Kind of music concrète” or “The King of Pop Playlists”, actually no : you gain MORE to be “The Kind of music concrète” because you’re pretty sure not a lot of people are sharing those works, and if you’re “the King of Pop playlists” there’s always quite a big chance that everything you’re sharing has already long past its “playlist potential gain” threshold and will litterally make you gain 0 credit anyway.

Do you see the point I’m making? Instead of creating a paid for curator pool who will become a few gatekeeper, trying to create a STRUCTURAL framework so that ALL THE PEOPLE who have a healthy desire for obscure work to be well known are a little compensated for their effort, and ONLY for helping discover unknown work, NOT for having their playlists have a lot of traffic.


Gatekeepers are all the same, paid or amateur. They allow access through the gate to exposure (or not).
If you look at television and radio it is regulated, so the gatekeepers can’t profit from being biased, or through receiving plain paper bags full of money. Some governments require tv and radio to publish a certain percentage of locally made content, or artistic content of merit, or religious content.
You don’t want people who are looking for ‘atonal poetry’ to find it on Resonate, you want people who AREN’T looking for it to find it! That’s how high art or innovation grows and spreads.

I agree with you I just fail to see how 1/ your propositions will help with that with a small paid for team of curators 2/ how our propositions cause any problem with that (if more curators can benefit from sharing more playlists with more unknown stuff, surely the “unknown stuff” has more chance to reach people who are not looking for it?) in fact they’re actually especially concieved FOR THAT, I don’t get what you disagree on.

Your problem was playlist profiting off high trafic, and I proposed a system where it’s impossible to profit from high trafic, but only to profit by sharing unknown genres most people aren’t familiar with.

I would just want you to elaborate on why you think what I just proposed isn’t good?

Edit : Btw, the proposition above is exactly what you are calling for : Regulation. Except instead of regulating 5 people randomly (or even “democratically”) chosen, we’re regulating a whole platform. It absolutely doesn’t keep us from having another editorial platform with different goals as stated on the “musing notes” topic created by @topshelfrecords

Edit2 : And also, yes you also do want people looking for “atonal poetry” to find it on Resonate.

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It’s just an open debate, it’s not me vs you. I’m just expressing my reservations on the topic as a whole, addressed to everyone taking part.

C’mon man, do you not understand nuance? Surely you got what I meant. Think of it like a public library. It’s best if youngsters aren’t only pointed towards science fiction or horror, but given encouragement to broaden their horizons.

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My sentiments align with @chriswhittenmusic’s. I think it is important that Resonate decouple ‘play quantity’ from curatorial reward. Curation should be about humanizing other qualities in the fields between artist, listener and the aural history of the universe.

‘Plurality’ has been a guiding principle in my thinking about setting up social solutions in the co-op, striving always to signify diverse and multi-polar social encounters or ‘semantic systems’ across generations, geographies, as well as artistic and social traditions.

A cluster of impressively divergent ‘Selektors’ suggests capacities in the co-op for supporting social plurals. This is fundamental to presenting a welcoming space to people of disparate identifications. When one can see that the co-op supports teams or groups of people representing different personal histories and alignments one can feel some confidence that space for ones own particularities will be respected.

Composing playlists is labor. I can imagine various way to commission circles of insightful Selektors to produce magnificent personal playlists from the co-operative pool periodically (weekly, monthly?) a manner that is determined by human experience and feeling rather than large idiotic numbers.

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Maybe let’s turn this on its head - would any of us PAY for a playlist - one that we know some random person that happens to share the same interests, likes, dislikes created?

I would personally say yes to this.

Browsing music while paying attention to it takes an enormous amount of time and mental bandwidth. If someone would put together a playlist for me that would lift my spirits when I’m not feeling well, or help me go to sleep, or be an entertaining curiosity or moving work of art, I would be happy to give that person credits, money, an upvote, whatever is used to denote “I like this, thank you, please make more”.

Even having a private “gold star” count on a playlist that only the creator sees would be motivating. Here on this forum we have the heart to give kudos.


…and badges that we could issue in recognition. I would like the idea of a connection with a local place or community too. A bit like the ‘node ambassador’ thing that FairBnB have for their cities.