Airborne, a potentially disruptive start-up in the music sector, hopes to “cure the music industry of its sickness” with their upcoming launch.
Their cloud-based music sharing platform places fans and artists in direct symbiosis. It’s an interesting model, so take a look:
Beyond all the virus metaphors (they even go so far as to call songs ‘strains’) the core idea is quite simple:
- Cut out traditional distributors
- Enable artists to monetise via a system of micropayments
- Give fans distribution rights instead, and empower them to share as much as possible, thus helping to secure further micropayments
It’s a model that I think could work particularly well for electronic music, whose artists tend to release one track or remix at a time, as opposed to a band who might release one album a year. Airborne will work best when artists can trickle content to their audience to keep them subscribed.
Looking on SoundCloud, my current favourite producer/DJ has 3,934 followers, which would net $3,934 per month on Airborne. Give those early adopting, high-class listeners some viral functionality and the impetus to share with friends and that figure could easily grow to $10,000/month – a healthy supplement to any unsigned musician, I’m sure you’ll agree.
Airborne have an interesting blog, The Music Industry is Sick, which looks at the challenges faced by listeners, musicians and labels today. In an ecology where artists need their stuff streamed four million times just to reach minimum wage, it’s platforms like Airborne that’ll help the system fix itself.