When you stream a song through Spotify, Apple Music or whomever, the artist responsible gets paid a fraction of a cent–somewhere around 4/10 of one penny–so it’s hard for the average musician to make any money.
Peter Harris, a musician with some anti-capitalist tendencies, thinks this is wrong. He didn’t like the way musicians were being treated by the big streaming companies so he created his own.
Berlin-based Resonate bills itself as an alternative to the monthly subscription plans pushed by the big companies. It’s also trying to be more transparent in its financial operations. And it’s based on a cooperative model. From The Guardian:
Resonate is a cooperative, and because of that artists, board members and listeners all have stake in the company and participate in decision-making. According to its website, 45% of Resonate’s annual profit is distributed to artists, 35% to listeners and 20% to paid staff.
Resonate’s alternative to a monthly subscription service is based on a stream-to-own model. Listeners pay a cheap price for streaming a song for the first time, which doubles with each play until it is comparable to the price of a regular iTunes download, $1.29. After nine plays, the song is completely paid for, and the listener can download it from the service.
The company also uses blockchain in an effort to be more transparent when it comes to tracking payments. Again from the Guardian:
Blockchain allows for the use of “smart contracts”, which could be a more efficient and seamless method for paying artists.
“You can have a smart contract that says send 30% to the singer, 25% to the guitar player, and split up the rest among the other four members of the band,” Harris says. “The smart contract will receive the money then distribute it out instantly.”
Fascinating. Read more here.