Resonate is a music streaming platform using blockchain technology to publish music, collect analytics and reimburse artists. Artists are able to publish their work and manage their royalties independently.
How does it work?
Resonate is a stream-to-own model. Users pre-purchase credit and are allowed unlimited, ad-free streaming of the entire catalogue. Each subsequent play of a song debits the user’s account incrementally per play until the 9th play, when the song becomes available to download. According to their explanation, artists can earn the same amount from 9 plays on Resonate as from 150 plays on Spotify. For this reason, Resonate describes itself as ‘the ethical music streaming co-op’.
Members purchase credit of €5 and upwards for full access to the catalogue and eventually are able to download their favorite songs and albums (those with 9 plays or more). Listeners with a zero balance are able to hear only 30-second samples of the songs. Payment is processed in Euros using the Stripe payment gateway.
What’s different about it?
Resonate is pretty open about their strategy on how to both pay artists fairly and allow users to pay only for what they’re listening to. Their stream-to-own model (#stream2own) is pretty unique in that it appears to solve the age-old problem: who pays for ad-free music? A compromise appears to have been met by charging listeners less than the competition and only for what they actually listen to. According to an interview on The Blockchain Guy with founder Peter Harris, subscription money seems to go further than you think when you’re listening to specific songs or albums.
Resonate have also snagged some massive names in their catalogue of almost 4000 artists (October 2018), Thievery Corporation, Coldcut and Jan Blomkvist among them. Most upcoming blockchain-powered streaming platforms face the problem of how to entice the masses to their service without the allure of major label signings. With regards to the star power of the catalogue, Resonate appears to be leading.
Unlike the other platforms on this list, Resonate doesn’t transact in cryptocurrency. Artists are paid in fiat currency via Paypal. Resonate’s decision to partner with artist identity platform Mycelia and their $1m investment from blockchain coop R-Chain has raised some eyebrows. Music streaming pioneers are nothing new, but let’s see what becomes of this model.
Who is it for?
Resonate’s cash-up-front-please deal makes it seem positioned for patrons of the arts who prefer having something downloaded along with their subscription. The fiat-only transactions probably mean a greater reach (for now). Cryptocurrency purists might avoid this platform due to the fact that Paypal is involved. On the whole, this British startup seems uniquely possessing belief in a better system as well as the practicality of keeping that system financially sustainable.
Why check it out?
Resonate encourages repeat plays by rewarding them with downloads. In the limitless streaming world, music listeners need to learn to listen to less music and better music in order to bring back the culture of lasting fandom. Resonate seems to be the most realistic, hype-free catalog and will probably still be standing once the world realizes that volume of content on the emerging blockchain music platforms doesn’t necessarily contribute to the quality of the platform.
My best pick?
Thievery Corporation. Duh.
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