Stop Playing Platform Games

PLUS: 4 music membership tools, an Artist Seed Round, & Streaming subscriber growth is shrinking

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Welcome, artists & builders. 

This is the 2nd edition of Where Music's Going. Each week, I'll cover new tools, context & strategies to form better connected audiences.

Inside Issue #2:
💡 Context: Play your own game
⚒️ Toolbox: Build your guild
📊 In Numbers: US subscriber growth slows
🤔 That’s New: The first Web360 deal

Be the Context

Artists need more places where they are the center of attention.

Every day, your songs compete in the passive listening attention meat market of streaming.

If you’re lucky enough to capture someone’s attention, your goal is to bring them out of that meat market & back to you. In your context. Surrounded by others who support your art.

Don’t send them back to the attention meat market, only to compete once again. That’s playing the platform’s game.

Bring Them Into Your Arena

Give them reasons to come. Then reasons to stay.

Get their email. Get them in your community. Once you have it, sell them on more, not less. Bring them in closer, not further away.

Buy the LP
Buy the ticket
Join the community
Buy the limited edition package

Then overdeliver.

Give them input
Give them access
Give them first looks
Give them ownership

Build fans, not a passive audience.

Your releases are your moments.

Make them sacred & shared events. Build into it & allow your biggest fans to be there first.

Think listening parties that end with a chance to buy a collectible of the song & leave your mark.

Reward attendees with POAPs to show they heard it first. Host a listening party for pre-orderers.

Show you are active & engaged, and you reward that same behavior.

Web3 Powers Your Context

In web3, artists are building arenas around themselves. Places for their collectors to live on a daily basis.

NFTs can be tickets into these worlds, or rewards within them, or activate access beyond them.

Web3 enables artists to play their own game.


This week is web3 heavy. Let’s go.


Build your guild

What if you could create portable guilds for your biggest fans?

Guild allows artists to manage gated communities across multiple platforms: Discord, Telegram, Twitter & more.

Build your guild with 3 input types:

  • Requirements to join. On-chain (NFTs, allowlists) or off-chain (credentials, social activity).

  • Roles make up your membership structure.

  • Rewards give access (exclusive groups, content, tools, roles) or abilities (claim an NFT, purchase merch, vote)

Authenticate once → future activity auto-updates your roles & rewards. Go to 10 shows? Get access to a new channel or vote on a setlist.

💪 Build both fan-superfan & superfan-superfan relationships. That’s powerful.

Here’s 3 more tools like this:

  • Medallion creates member home-bases where web3 is invisible. Early artists incl. Illenium, Santigold, MMJ & Jungle.

  • Passage Protocol's member mgmt tools includes subscription payments & web2-web3 workflows.

  • Clique brings web2 user behavior & identity on-chain. Bridge the gap b/w value-creating web2 activities & incentive distribution in web3.


Collaboration Powered by Administration

Reveel & Decent team up to show how collaboration is easier in web3.

Creators submitted collaborative songs as NFTs, minted on Decent using Reveel to assign & auto-share earnings in real time.

Fans vote by minting their favorites after listening on web3 streaming aggregator Ooh La La.

  • 57 projects

  • 145 collaborators

  • 1,747 votes tallied

  • $20.5k for creators ($15.5 sales + $5k in grants)

🥦 Broccoli: Royalty splits are transparent, fast & require less middlemen.

🍦Ice Cream: Artists can easily collaborate. Even on really large scales.

159 artists? No problem.


Subscriber Growth is Shrinking

The growth rate of music subscriptions in the US has fallen from 38.2% in 2019 to 9.5% in 2022.

It’s reaching maturity. When this happened in Sweden, Spotify raised prices without seeing churn.

I expect Spotify to follow Apple & Amazon’s lead & raises prices within 6 months.


Daniel Allan’s $1M Artist Seed Round

They are calling it a Web360 deal. This is a first.

  • All Daniel’s music income included

  • Flows thru a multi-signature wallet & FDIC-insured bank account

  • Partners purchase equity

  • Funding is non recoupable

Daniel is no stranger to innovative funding for his projects.

1/ His Overstimulated campaign raised 50 ETH ($82k) in exchange for 50% ownership in his future EP, all executed thru NFTs.

2/ He raised $136k selling out his 1k edition music NFT collection Glass House in under 24 hours.

Daniel is proving artists have new options available to them. And music industry norms we take for granted are always ripe for change.

See you next week. In the meantime, catch you on twitter: @abelowrob.

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