British startup SupaPass launched its ‘fair-trade streaming music app’ earlier this month.
The iOS app enables artists to run their own channels, providing music, videos, social media posts and other content to fans, who pay individual subscriptions starting at £1 for access per artist channel. SupaPass pays up to 100% net revenue share to rights holders.
Music Ally talked to CEO Juliana Meyer, who is one of a growing number of musicians turned startup founders, about the motivation behind SupaPass.
SupaPass was actually founded a few years ago: its first press coverage came in a TechCrunch profile in March 2014. Until recently, the company was a two-person, bootstrapped operation.
“We learned so much through that process: it made us a much stronger company as a result,” says Meyer. “And we’ve been in this space for a while: when we talk to labels, it helps to show we are pretty determined and know what we’re talking about.”
The idea of ‘micro-subscriptions’ to individual artists has been talked about for a while now within the music industry, but usually as a notional ‘wouldn’t this be interesting?’ – bar the odd subscription-based artist app (Tiesto, for example) there haven’t been many concrete examples.
“People have talked about it: ‘Oh, someone should do that’. And we’ve been saying ‘hey, we do it!’,” says Meyer. “We have commercial deals, the technology and everything ready to go. It’s good to be able to go out and say we’re ready to welcome artists and labels to add their catalogue - we have over 3,000 artists licensed now, including a major label deal.”