This was just recently released and I think this is a very important study
This is crucial because it’s the first study based on actual data from an actual UCM (user centric model) with enough users (Soundcloud) when all other studies used to extrapolate UCM out of the pro-rata models data which was in my view an absolute non sense. And unsurprisingly, past studies were often saying UCM wouldn’t change anything or could even be worse for mid-tier artists than pro-rata. Turns out they were probably wrong.
This brings me back to my proposition for a S2O user centric subscription
If it turns out user centric is, indeed, naturally more inclined to pay mid-tier artists, a carefully crafted S2O user centric model could in effect be an even better offering for both these same artists, and also for artists that you listen to a lot for just a few weeks and then let go.
I feel like while the emphasis put on “super fans” is nice, what’s lacking in the current UCM implemented by soundcloud, is the more temporary relationship people can build with an artist for a month or two before they stop listening to it. In the soundcloud model, you do get more money than in a pro rata model from that, but not substantially more unless people listen to your stuff all year long.
In a S2O User Centric Model however, you can actually get close to the equivalent of someone buying physical/digital goods from your store in just a few weeks/months, and it doesn’t matter if they stop listening to your music later on because either they already own it, or they’ve already given to you close to the equivalent of 10€.
I really think this is a discussion we should have because it’s where a lot of current talk is at, and we have enough of a new approach to it that we could really be of some help crafting a solution that :
1/ doesn’t rely on a private owned company doing some shady business on the side
2/ is actually better.
Just to clarify, the main difference between soundcloud’s fan-powered-royalty model and your idea of a stream2own subscription model is that in the s2o model, you’re subscription is still divided up between the artists you’ve listened to, but now you’re also using your listening power to work toward owning that track? On what scale did you say this ownership value would be measured for s2o if people are paying a monthly subscription? Like would it still be based on the original 9 plays to own a track model, or just based on total money given to an artist and then the listener could just pick what they want to own after the fact?
Interesting stuff forsure.
Oh, and by the way.
Back in May I did a little experiment of my own with the current stream2own model by completely replacing my Spotify subscription with Resonate for 1 month. I am working on a blog-styled post accompanied by a listening log spreadsheet to share as much of my experience/findings as I can, but overall, I was pretty satisfied with how the current model worked for me!
It’s almost been 2 months now, so although I’m hopefully almost done with my initial draft, if you could follow-up with me to hold me a bit more accountable here, I’d appreciate that haha. (Even just writing this post is making me more motivated to finish what I started lol). This way, maybe we could create more interest around Resonate’s current model, while using this to fund the development of a newer model like your s2o subscription idea. I’m not sure how difficult it would be to switch the payment models, or if we could ever have 2 models available at once, but definitely worth asking some questions and testing things forsure. Thanks!
No a subscription would effectively scrap that, what it would keep is the “ballpark estimate” that around say… 8 to 15 plays you should own a track there’s no ethical reason for you to keep paying for it, and if you own it, you should have given the artist enough to justify owning it. That’s what we keep, the concept, the values, the ethics, but we make the system more resilient to variations in listener patterns.
This being said
This is an interesting proposition if someone has, say, listened to a few tracks from an artist enough so that as a whole he gave the artist 3 or 4€ but hasn’t listened to that artist in a while, I could definitely see a sort of “bank account” where, having spent “x amount” on artist, you could decide, instead of keeping upping the credit count, “sacrifice” some of your listens to buy songs.
It would look something like this :
Listener has spent 3€ on Artist
Listener decides to buy 2 songs from this Artist which will cost 2€
Listener now owns these two songs, but the “listen counts” on the other tracks are back to square one and he will now have to listen to the other songs from this artist x times again to own them.
I don’t know if it’s a very useful/usable idea I just had it because of what you said, but it’s something to think about because if it actually worked it could be both empowering for users (more control about what you choose to own), and for artists it would mean maybe a little more money (because when users come back to their other work they pay for it like they’d never listened to it). It’s definitely good for listeners I’ll need to check how we could make sure it’s also good for artists. It would also need to be presented in a very straightforward way because it’s kind of complicated conceptually to implement I think.
Alright, yea that’s interesting. Definitely worth working to streamline any efforts here so they’re easy to understand, and benefit both the listener and the artist even more. As we continue to chat around this, I’d be interested to hear from others as well, even if just to see if what we’re talking about clicks with them right away.
Reading this conversation makes me want to finish up that internet marketing capstone on Coursera.
I love that there’s some thought into rewarding artists who we get obsessed with for a month or two. Perhaps you could rack up a combo bonus for listening to the same track X times in a row haha. There should absolutely be a reward for writing a song that gets into your head like that.
Conversely, coming back to a song after a long time seems like it should be rewarded as well. The best I can think of is some tipping mechanism, which is to say it needs more thought.
At the other end of the scale, I also wonder what “subcription2own” might look like if it were totally decoupled from streaming numbers. Perhaps something like the Audible model, where X credits land in your account every month and audiobooks are priced at 1-2 credits apiece. But this is perhaps very similar to the existing Stream2O model.
I think at its core, the base principle of our service was to propose precisely a service that remunerates low/mid interactions. In a way, if someone just wants to pay 10€ a month or 10€ here and there to buy music there’s already things like Bandcamp and/or we’ll already be offering to buy music outright here on Resonate.
The issue I see with credits à la Audible is that they, functionally, have to cheapen things a bit. For example if someone pays 10€ a month and those 10€ get split between artists etc. then if you want to give listeners credits to purchase some of the things they like most, there’s no way around cutting from the 10€ alocated to all listens. Effectively this will mean that a lot of artists who have been listened to will recieve less in the process and that’s something I’m genuinely hoping we could avoid.
My idea is that there are two fundamentals at play :
User empowerment (They need to have some control and some margin over how their money get spent so that they’re sure it goes where they think it’s worth going)
Artists Fair Payment (Artists need to get as much money as possible ESPECIALLY when interactions are mid-tier, ie. not really fans, but people who liked their music enough to listen to it a few times which I think is a lot already and in reality, the vast majority of musical interractions/discoveries)
Those two things need to coexist together and we need to try and strike a good balance between both principles. So we need to :
Allow people to spend more on artists if they want (listener empowerment / artist fair payment)
Make sure our automatic payment system matches what listeners listened so that the core of their subscription goes to the artists that matter most to them (If we push the balance towards letting listeners choose a HUGE chunk of their sub to go some place and not another, we have listener empowerment but we lose artist fair payment)
Make sure listeners don’t HAVE TO spend forever on artists they like so that their money after a point goes to financing discoveries instead of the same music over and over (it’s listener empowerment because at that stage 1/ they own music and can take it away from our platform if they want 2/ they can choose to pay more if they want 3/ they have the assurance they’re supporting the new music they listen to even if they love to listen to their back catalogue a lot, and it’s artist fair payment because S2O makes sure they get much more money quickly than on other Streaming services)
To me these are the baseline ideas behind why I sketched out this S2O subscription proposals, but I’ve explained it in much greater detail elsewhere.
I’d be curious to know how the Audible credits system function though, and if it’s really to the benefit of the authors/creators or if there isn’t a catch where you realize the platforms actually make more from that by recouping some part of the money they’d have to pay for rights in a way that suits their business model better.
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