Proposal: music sales on Resonate

Hi everyone,

After some discussion with @Hakanto, @richjensen, @onapoli, @MorAir, and @auggod about the forthcoming Artist Upload Tool, I proposed the idea of allowing artists to offer their music on Resonate for purchase, in addition to streaming, and I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts on this!

In practice, artists could offer full albums or tracks at a discount to the cost of Stream2owning (i.e. selling a 14-track album for $10, or a single for $.69). As I see it, this affords artists more choice, and could potentially save listeners a few dollars on artists they really love. Even without discounts, this provides a new way for listeners to support their favorite artists by getting them more money, faster (and potentially boosting their first-week sales and chart position, if Resonate eventually grows to that level of significance. I’ve always thought the 1500 streams = 1 purchase equivalence was BS!).

With other streaming services that charge a monthly fee for unlimited listening, this model would obviously never work, but I think that Resonate is positioned perfectly to offer music streaming and sales side by side. I can see this complicating things legally, financially, and technically, but would love to hear from someone with more expertise on what the difficulties/cons with this could be.

Additionally, I can see a further evolution of this idea in giving artists the opportunity to sell merchandise and concert tickets and share updates with fans directly through Resonate. This might be veering somewhat out of Resonate’s current mission, but I do think we want to give artists as many opportunities to build support and generate income as possible.

Thanks everyone!



Thank you for sharing this idea, and for doing it so thoughtfully as well!

I am not sure how things would work from a technical standpoint, but I agree that Resonate should give artists the option to sell their work at a “discount” compared to the stream2own pricing, ideally with Resonate still taking a percentage rate (maybe even a smaller cut than normal) for that sale - like what I believe happens now when people stream2own, or buy works outright.

Although this would definitely require more discussion, I also believe that Resonate should eventually have more opportunities in place for artists to earn revenue and connect more with their listeners. To me, this means Resonate could have more “call to action” buttons encouraging listeners to “support this artist” by purchasing an album, merchandise, concert tickets, etc. A lot of times, people just need to be asked to support, or reminded that an artist has to make a decent income to live a respectable life themselves, before people actually give their money to an artist that they enjoy.

Marketing and other business endeavors are important parts of a creative’s ability to earn a decent living from their craft, but these things take a lot of time that I am assuming artists and other creatives rarely have. With that said, I would love for Resonate to do more marketing for artists (like with the additional call to action buttons mentioned above) to facilitate an artists’ ability to earn income, so that artists’ can focus on what they love and continue to create the most meaningful work to them, while also earning a living wage through the help of the Resonate platform. That would be a really powerful value-add for Resonate to artists in my view!

Not to mention, even if Resonate takes a small percentage of these sales by artists to support the co-op, I still see this as a win-win-win for all stakeholders…

  • Artists win because they earn more income through Resonate’s ability to incentivize purchases between listeners and the artists they support.

  • Resonate wins by increasing the co-ops revenue from taking a small percentage of sales (really beneficial at scale).

  • Even listeners can win if Resonate is able to truly connect fans with artists’ other offerings such as merchandise, tickets, discounted music, etc. that fans may have missed out on if they weren’t made aware of these things by Resonate!

Just my 2 cents on the matter, but overall, I am in full agreement with you @nphilmasiakowski!

The potential to have a platform that facilitates the exchange of creative work through multiple channels, and within a trusted space, is what initially brought me to Resonate, so I would love to discuss more on this when the time is right, and the development team is available!



Glad we share a similar vision, Sam! I think it would make sense for Resonate to take a smaller cut of these sales, but even with the smaller cut, I agree that this would be a win-win for all parties. I also agree with you that, as with seemingly many things at Resonate, the bottleneck is on the development side of things. Maybe we can start a dialogue (somewhere else in the Forum, perhaps) about how we can most effectively build out and support the development team. From my understanding, @auggod is doing most of the heavy lifting on the development side, so his input will obviously be very valuable. I’m still new to this stuff though, so it’s very possible these concerns are already being addressed! Thanks!


Hey Phil! The exchanges you describe above are exactly the sort of thing that the Community Credentials ‘digital handshake’ could be used for. We could make the ‘marketplace’ offers in Community Forum and then seal the deal with a digital credential that can be securely redeemed for a physical product, or access to a special service or venue. There are marketplace plugins for Discourse forums. Payments could essentially be made peer to peer with a small transaction fee being taken by the co-op, possibly in listening credits?


@nphilmasiakowski, that sounds like a plan! The developers at Resonate have done some amazing work to help make Resonate what it is today, so I think it would be great to see how everyone can put their effort toward helping out the development team continue to build things out. Whether it’s non-dev people actively recruiting developers, or fundraising for projects, or other dev people just being able to commit more volunteer time, I think there are things that can be done by everyone to help move things along.

In line with that, I know this is easier said than done, but maybe we can have dev people post monthly or weekly updates on how certain projects are going, from a very basic level. I know there are a few project charters, back logs, and to-do lists around, but those are sometimes hard for me to digest, so just something as simple as, “worked on User API today; about 3-6 months of work left, depending on dev support available” could be helpful in my view. I also appreciate timelines to help gauge potential completeness and to better align priorities, so although I know this is tough to do in a volunteer setting with inconsistent commitment levels, I personally believe these “guesstimated” timelines could help everyone get on the same page, if possible, with the assumption that things are always subject to change.

Would definitely want to hear more from @Nick_M on this too, as I know he’s done some incredible work being involved with a lot of the dev efforts at Resonate, so maybe I am overlooking a lot of things here, or I am being naive with some of my thoughts… thanks!


That sounds awesome! I love the ‘digital handshake’ approach, but would there be any way to make this same transaction within the player? I think conversions for artists would increase if listeners had the opportunity to make this transaction “in the moment” on the player, as opposed to the Forum, but I could see bringing it out of the player too since it’s an “exclusive discount” so that would be an interesting discussion for all stakeholders once the technology is available!

Awesome work!


From watching @Nick_M 's youtube video about the future of the Resonate infrastructure (this one) I’m understanding that the forum and the player will be much more intertwined later on than they currently are, which in some instances could make the switch from player to forum as easy as on websites where you go from comment section to the forum topic related to the article for example.


@LLK @Sam_Martyn yes exactly, the services we offer in future will be much more ‘composeable’, especially when we have finished the ID server integration (avoiding multiple log-ins). The ‘issuing’ of these verifiable digital receipts (where necessary, not needed for everything) could be done at any appropriate point in a ‘checkout’ / agreement type flow, whether that’s in the player or in the forum, or from a link from the website.

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This raises an interesting point that’s both technical and a possible feature :

Could we imagine an automatic topic creation on this forum everytime an artist releases an album (or a single track)? This topic would reside inside either the “music” category or the “members category”, but the thing is and that’s where it relates to your “credentials” idea, it wouldn’t be visible for the people who either don’t own the song or for the people who haven’t reached a threshold of listens (say, 4 listens). This way, it doesn’t constantly clutter the forum with an endless list of released music (which would make it unusable) but it also makes for a fine tuned experience of the forum for listeners : when you come on the forum, the “music” section would already be fine tuned (it could even be a subcategory “my listens” where it only displays the topics related to your listening habits and purchases) to what you’re interested in which would be more enticing than a constantly growing list of unknown work which would feel like yet another to-do list or overwhelming mess.

You could also, in the same spirit as on news websites using discourse, use the topic to display a few commentaries on the song/album’s page the same way Bandcamp does but more like a news site. Actually it would be more like a 50/50 between Bandcamp’s approach and the approach where there’s an actual comment section except it’s not tempered by anything like “buy and you can comment” which can lead to sadly toxic behaviors. It would effectively be closer to an enriched version of bandcamp’s approach because it could lead to actual conversations between listeners. It would still (hopefully) keep this “comment section” free from abuse because you’d litterally have to pay for the tracks (either by S2O or buying them outright) to be able to comment which is what makes the comment aspect of Bandcamp healthy and supportive of the work.

The only trouble I could see is if someone makes a very long comment, I guess we’d definitely need to truncate whatever’s being shown on the album’s page.