Jason Herskowitz is just one of many smart minds involved in Tomahawk, a service we’ve covered before now as a fine example of music within the open web. With Spotify announcing their new deal with Yahoo!, Jason posted this over on Tomahawk’s blog and with his permission we are re-posting it here.

I thought I’d take a quick minute to talk about the promise, as we see it, in Toma.hk for the music ecosystem as a whole.

For Fans:

A single, universally playable, URL for a song – Spotify subscribers, Rdio subscribers, iTunes buyers, YouTube hunters, music blog scourers … all able to share with each other.  No more spammy (and generally ignored) links that require me to use the same service (if it’s even available in my territory) to listen to the song you are sharing.  It takes us back to the way we always shared music in the past… a conversation about a song by an artist, not a link to a particular reproduction of that song from a specific provider.   If you like it, you can easily use the Tomahawk desktop app to “collect” everything you like… sort of like Instapaper… for music.

For Curators:

If you are a blogger, music reviewer, editor or publication you are forced to search and embed content from multiple services (e.g. a SoundCloud embed for one song, a YouTube embed for another) or exclusively use embeds or links from one of the subscription providers. Or worse yet… do all of the above.  With Toma.hk embeds all you have to do is give it the name of a the song and artist, and we handle all the complexity of finding that track across multiple providers.  No matter what source or service your readers prefer, we’ve provided them actionable content that they can engage with directly on your site.  More time on your site + less work to publish = a pretty good recipe (at least in our minds).

For Artists and Labels:

When you are promoting a song, you are currently forced into a similar situation as the curators.  You can either have your track available to stream for free, or you can do your promos using a subscription service embed or link.  Free generally works everywhere (with notable exceptions such as YouTube not having music videos available in Germany), but you forsake any opportunity for streaming revenue. Exclusively servicing promos using a subscription service means you are inherently limiting the userbase that can hear your promotion.  Remember this: there is no subscription service that is available in every territory… and even in those territories they are available, only a small fraction of users are using them.  With Toma.hk, if a listener already has a relationship with a subscription service, you get paid for them listening from that source (they are already paying for).  If they don’t have a relationship with a paid streaming service, they can still hear your music by rolling back to your music promotion platform of choice (e.g. Official.fm).  This hybrid approach automatically grows the monetization of your promos as the user bases of the subscription services grow.

For Music App Creators:

Why are you paying to stream content (royalties and bandwidth) to users that are already paying someone else for the right to that content?  With Tomahawk’s technology you can move towards broadcasting metadata that is fulfilled independently at each user (and what content they already have available to them) instead of paying to send them stuff they already have.

We see win-win-win-win opportunities and the path to breaking through the logjam of online music within our collective grasp.

Big idea? Indeed.

Disruptive? Hopefully.

Possible?  We definitely think so.

If you like our vision, let us know.  Let your friends know.  Let your labels, artists and bloggers know.  It’s time we all, as an industry, work towards the greater good and bring the tide in. The boats need floating.

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