Streaming Royalties Are Just Part of the Equation

Stumbled upon this Rolling Stone Article from last year around music streaming royalty arguments and ideas, and although I am not the biggest fan of the way in which the article is written, I wanted to share a snippet from the article as it does a good job of capturing part of my original reason for joining Resonate and where I think Resonate could have an additional opportunity.

Being able to help artists and bands market their current work, and increase the relationships between artists and supporters could be a great way to improve artists’ earnings, while also allowing them to add more value to fans. Hopefully a win-win in everyone’s books!


yeah! shameless plug, i wrote about this one year ago (to the day oddly enough) and it got featured by Bas at Music X (whatever you think about him, dw there’s no ‘web3’ content in my article)


No, this is great, thank you for adding this additional insight to the thread!

Absolutely love your quote from “The Chaos Bazaar” regarding the “80/20” rule where 80% of revenue often only ever comes from 20% of supporters. This is so true in general business overall, so yes, being able to help artists find their niche group of supports who can provide some stability for their careers is crucial.

That’s also why I appreciate Resonate’s foundation, since I believe the community is what will ultimately help artists find their “whales” and connect with them on a deeper level. None of this seems to be possible in the current streaming economy, so it’s definitely worth staying committed to if we want to create real opportunities for independent artists.

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This is also why I think we hit a limit with the current offer of S2O btw. In essence, since S2O does nothing more than provide the price of an album after 9 listens, and we agree that what we NEED is to “help artists find their niche group of supports who can provide some stability for their careers”, it seems to me that, analyzing this principle, Bandcamp’s core features are much better to do that than Resonate’s :

Ease of access (listening is free)
Set your own price (people can pay more)
Sell merch
Sell whole catalogue price with a discount (funnily enough, some people use that as a “just buy all the things button” and I’ve had people who bought my entire catalogue and… actually decided to pay more instead of less)

And in a sense, for artists, Resonate is not really providing any feature that helps them “find their niche group of support”, it’s more providing features for the listeners (who through us have access to playlists and a Spotify like experience), but for the artist, it won’t be a better way to reach those “20%”. Actually it might be much tougher because since the price is quickly ramping up, there’ll be a fierce attention war to be “worth paying more to listen”, so there’s a natural competition that’ll unfold progressively to be “the music you listen to 9 times”, when on Bandcamp people can developp a taste more gradually for your music without the pressure of having to pay for it right away.

So yeah, I think right now, that’s really not the service we’re providing and that’s really not the focus that the platform is building itself upon, but I agree it should be one of our main goals if not our main goal.

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I think this is an interesting point. Bandcamp allows you to listen freely, but after a certain amount of plays it makes it fairly hard to listen to an album without buying it. Every time you press play it pops up a “you should buy this album” screen that inevitably does get me to buy the album.

Yeah with a little broken heart for a sort of “light” moral pressure on you to buy. It’s clever. There’s a lot of clever tricks on the Bandcamp experience that people see as marginal to the overall core feature but that I personally view as probably THE core features of the service.

To me we should want to be a service that offers a reverse Bandcamp, which is a free and unlimited access to things (like Bandcamp) but where you’re always kind of paying a fair price, and after a while you discover you’ve paid enough to own and you don’t need to pay anymore.

Bandcamp has it the other way around and in a more “broken in two” model where it’s free all the time with more and more light incentives to buy and at some point you pay in full.

Right now that’s not what we offer but I’ll keep advertising for such a model until I’m deemed annoying by everyone here ^^

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I could see something like a little glowing heart appearing every time one of your “plays” registers as a payment to the artist. Get a little of that positive affirmation going.

I’m afraid in a “value per play” system there might be a “sensory reward overload” (like in F2P videogame where everything’s a reward). To me the thing that should come first and foremost is a sort of “board” where people can see for themselves the way that they support artists, basically see the inner guts of our algorithm. It’s one thing to tell them “we do it for you”, it’s another entirely (and much more responsible) to show them “this is what we’ve done for you”. It gives them a sense of how they’re giving back to artists and we let them judge if they consider that enough or not compared to how much they can afford to spend.

In the current S2O system it’s not really that useful to envision because, again, if it turns out they feel they can’t afford to spend they just can’t listen more no matter if they want to so it would just be a “board” for the wealthier in our community that would tell the poorer “well stop listening to that thing you like”. But in a more Spotify like offering it could be very interesting. Notably you could be like “well, with all the music I listen to, I gave to little to that one musician, when I have money I should definitely try to do more” but you could keep listening in the meantime (a little like Bandcamp, but with an actual payment).

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Relevant, I think


I appreciate all of the previous replies from you both, @LLK and @psi, and I think the above article that psi shared does a solid job of summing some things up here.

One of the things that gets me so excited about Resonate, and stream2own in general, is that I think it is a unique blend of both sides of this streaming and fandom equation. I hope the stream2own model becomes the bridge for normal listeners to find artists that they can truly engage with and become supports of when they may never have thought of becoming a supporter in the first place.

This obviously lends itself toward what LLK is talking about in how Resonate needs to develop more of a marketplace approach for independent artists to host and sell their work, and I 100% agree. I also love the idea that you recommend psi about the heart, and I know there will be a lot more marketing/engagement/gamification ideas that will come up from myself and others as the player and community continue to develop.

Definitely need to toe the line between changing/improving the mindset and behaviors of listeners into more supportive and respectful consumers, without turning Resonate into a marketing and promo frenzy, but that’s also why I appreciate the cooperative model since each stakeholder group can hold one another accountable as we continue to develop the platform.

Great stuff!