The idea of ‘top-up’ crowdfunding-style payments within music-streaming subscription services is something Music Ally has floated in the past: the idea that (for example) Spotify’s billing relationship with its subscribers could be used to help them spend a dollar or two a month more on individual musicians, likely in exchange for exclusive content and other benefits. Thus far, the big services haven’t publicly shown an interest in the model though.
Now Midia Research has another idea: ‘Creator Support’. The fundamental goal – listeners supporting individual musicians within the structure of their streaming subscription – is the same, but the method is different. “All Spotify subscribers get given the option to ‘support’ up to two of their favourite artists,” explained Midia in a blog post. “For each artist that a subscriber supports, 1% of the record label royalties derived from that subscriber’s subscription fee goes directly to the artist, regardless of how many streams that user generates. The label of each artist then pays 100% of this ‘support’ income.” The company has sketched out some estimates of how such a system could work financially for five artists: Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Lauv, Rex Orange County and Circa Waves.