Our membership standards (aka “qualifying contributions”) for artists and listeners are able to be decided by members at a General Meeting. I find our current thresholds for membership to be confusing and odd – so I think we should change them! Here’s a proposal for how we can.
For listeners, the primary shift here is to raise the price of membership for folks in countries with powerful currencies and to create lower pricing tiers for folks in countries with less powerful currencies. Regular membership fees establishes a stable source of income for the co-op and makes us more independent.
For artists, the primary shift here is to switch from an input-based standard (artist contributes tracks), to an output-based standard (artist earns money). Many artists don’t release music every year, so our current “upload a song every two years” rule doesn’t work for them. An album published three years ago could be doing great on Resonate, but they’d lose membership anyway.
Every user arriving at Resonate is encouraged to contribute 15 EUR to immediately join the co-op. 10 EUR and 5 EUR contribution tiers are offered to folks from countries with less powerful currencies. The membership type granted is Listener-Member, recognizing that everyone is a listener. This amount autobills annually.
A Listener-Member’s membership is renewed automatically by spending 15 EUR worth of credits in a year on the Resonate Player. Adding credits to your account is not included; only credits spent listening.
To earn Artist-Membership, you need to receive at least one earnings payout (earnings threshold to be set at 15 EUR) a year from Resonate. If you have active Artist-Membership, you won’t be autobilled for Listener-Membership.
15 EUR as our upper-range yearly expectation for listener membership would put us about equal with USA-based consumer cooperative REI, which expects folks to purchase 20 USD worth of merchandise per year to retain active membership.
Accepting the idea that artists couldn’t earn 15 EUR a year would mean we’re failing at our core concept. With our new music player and upcoming Artist Dashboard, we can expect higher earnings across the platform. Earning 15 EUR yearly for an artist is a low threshold. By comparison, fellow music co-op Ampled requires artist members to earn something like $30 a month! If an artist is earning 15 EUR a year, that means that the co-op is setting their membership fee at ~6.5 EUR vs the 15 EUR fee for listener members, since the co-op takes a 30% cut of earnings. Creating an artist membership standard focused on artists making money will spur our development to create tools by which artists can make money.