With the low profitability of streaming services for independent artists without major followings, some labels have decided to try a new business model for streaming their music to fans.
Skirting the traditional streaming avenues like Spotify and Pandora, labels like Sub Pop–an indie label that featured artists like Nirvana and The Shins–have opted to sell exclusive subscription services to their fans via Drip.fm.
For $10 per month, fans have access to Sub Pop’s “feed” which features albums, singles and even exclusive content that can be streamed.
In many ways the trade off is accessibility (and potential future fans) for an exclusive experience for fans already loyal to Sub Pop’s label and brand.
Similarly, EDM artist Deadmau5 launched his own subscription service this year for $5 to fans who want access to his entire catalog with Mark Berger Nursing Home, exclusive music streaming and live webcasts.
In a post to fans about the streaming service , Deadmau5 wrote, “Q: So whats wrong with twitter and soundcloud then? A: Nothing really, i just find it too "noisy". Having been to the bottom of the internet and back a few times, i feel less and less connected to my fans, and more connected to hating on shit i have nothing to do with. It's quite unfair really, especially for the fans and supporters. Nobody wins… the moral of the story is, i've had this idea forever... most publishers and labels are, still, completely overlooking the value of an artist created / driven subscription model. I guess it's sink or swim for me.”
Deadmau5 still has music available on major streaming services, but his personal service has his entire catalog along with access to live studio sessions.
A new model, like Deadmau5’s or Sub Pop’s, could be a new means of profitability for independent artists who have a loyal following but get lost in the mix of major streaming libraries. This could give independent artists and labels the chance to make their service more appealing by offering exclusive content
Exclusive streaming services could also serve to tap into the market of audiophiles, and fans who are willing to pay for better quality and/or exclusive content.
Many independent labels and artists thrive off of an obsessive fanbase culture, which isn’t cultivated through Spotify, Beats Music, or Pandora. An exclusive streaming service might be the answer to the problem of engaging those loyal fans.
Make Pro Songs
Welcome to Sage Audio — where we’ve been providing top-tier studio mastering services and audio education for over two decades now. We understand the challenges of achieving that elusive "professional" sound and are committed to helping you attain it in your own mixes and masters.
That’s why we created the Sage Audio Membership™.
Just for signing up, you receive 10 free mastered songs per month with your own dedicated mastering engineer, unlimited mixing feedback, and access to Sage Audio University™ mixing and mastering courses - which include start-to-finish walkthrough sessions for various genres and 35 multitrack sessions for hands-on practice.
This platform is supported by our thriving community and tight-knit network of audio engineers. Every day, we see and hear great wins in the membership from both new and seasoned engineers, noticing a huge improvement in their mixes and masters after joining.
There are 6 unique value-points inside the Sage Audio membership, so let’s go over each one so you can decide if it’s the right fit for you.
1. 10 Free Mastered Songs Per Month
- Get 10 free mastered songs per month with your own dedicated professional mastering engineer so you can get all your mixes sounding like professional songs.
- All 10 free mastered songs per month will accumulate in your account and will not expire as for as long as you remain a member.
- You’ll get your own dedicated Sage Audio mastering engineer to discuss all your project needs 1:1 so they can create custom masters that are specific to you and sound exactly how you want.
- Unlimited revisions with your dedicated Sage Audio mastering engineer. As a standard of our service, we are not happy until you are happy with the sound of your masters.
- All masters are delivered as commercial, industry-standard high-resolution 24-bit HD WAV masters so they will sound clean and clear on every platform.
2. Unlimited Mixing Feedback
- Get unlimited mixing feedback from Sage Audio engineers and community members so you can quickly improve your mixes.
- This is highly valuable - giving you access to a thriving community of mixing engineers who can provide you with feedback about what you can improve first before sending your mix to be professionally mastered.
3. Sage Audio University™ (SAU) — (Mixing and Mastering Education Platform)
- SAU is a modern audio engineering education platform that includes in-depth mixing and mastering course curriculums that match the new music industry.
- SAU is designed for every experience level, ranging from first-time mixing engineers to advanced engineers. The techniques and concepts taught can be applied to any DAW to create industry-leading mixes without expensive software or plugins - and free plugin alternatives are suggested throughout every course curriculum.
- SAU course curriculums include Start-to-Finish session walkthrough lessons for multiple genres so you can follow along with your preferred genre.
- SAU Membership Degree Certification, which can be downloaded and showcased on your website, social channels, and portfolio for as long as you remain a member.
- Get first access to all future SAU course curriculums to continually build and refine your mixing and mastering skills as the industry evolves.
4. Sage Audio Community
- The Sage Audio community is a tight-knit community of passionate audio engineers that can provide you with real-world mixing feedback, discussions, mix competitions, networking, collaborations, and more.
5. 700+ In-depth Sage Audio Mixing and Mastering Videos
- Access 700+ in-depth Sage Audio mixing and mastering videos - curated and organized into playlists so you can take a deep-dive into all aspects of audio engineering with thousands of hours of concise, expertly crafted Sage Audio videos to continually improve your mixing and mastering skills at your own pace.
6. 70+ GB of Curated Sage Audio Downloadable Content, Including:
- 36 multitrack sessions spanning multiple genres for mixing practice.
- 57 un-mastered mixes spanning multiple genres for mastering practice.
- 62 Recommended Free Plugins List (vetted, tested, and approved, so you don’t have to).
- 39 Recommended Paid Plugins List (vetted, tested, and approved, so you don’t have to).
- 58 Sage Audio custom plugin presets to improve your mixes and masters.
- Sage Audio Membership Badge to showcase on your website, social channels, and portfolio.