In the details

  • How much will it cost?

    Resonate has only one recurring charge – $5 per year to be a member of the coop. Being a coop member allows you to vote on key issues and share in the profits when we’re successful. Learn more about why we’re a coop.

    Unlike other services, Resonate has no monthly subscriptions. It’s “pay as you go” through our unique stream to own model which is explained next.

  • Stream to own

    Stream to own is simple but powerful – paying artists a little when hearing them for the first time and gradually more as you start to fall in love with their work.

    This unique model allows us to count – and pay – for every play.

    The scandal of the streaming world is that most services don’t pay one-to-one. We do. That’s what makes Resonate #fairmusicstreaming.

    Streaming a new song starts super cheap, then doubles each time you repeat-listen until finally reaching the price of a normal download. Learn more

  • What if I don't like a song? Do I still have to pay for it?


    If you skip a track within 45 seconds, there’s no charge. We may change that to a minute or so in the future depending on user feedback.

  • But wait, won't this end up being more expensive?

    Actually, it’s super affordable.

    In fact, you can listen to a thousand new tracks for about two bucks.

    Even though you’re paying more each time you repeat-listen, you can hear the same song four times for less than a nickel. It only starts to get more expensive to listen to the same song after you’ve fallen in love with it already. That’s the moment when you want to become a dedicated fan. At that point it’s not just about “owning” a file, but supporting the artist.

    It will also be really easy to set thresholds if you’re on a budget and can’t afford to buy a lot of songs. There will be enough content to listen regularly and it should still cost a lot less than the other streaming services.

    Learn more about stream to own.

  • What kind of music will you have?

    Because we’re building Resonate with a new cooperative model, we decided to start by focusing on the independent industry, which represents 35% of the total music market.

    That means every conceivable music genre you can imagine.

    Yes, there will be some well-known artists in the app, because many of them are released through indie labels. But it also means we won’t launch with every massive celebrity, nor have every classic album from the past. We expect to get there eventually, as the industry moves towards more transparency and openness in the future.

    We expect to have millions of tracks available when the service launches, so don’t worry… there will be many artists you recognize and a LOT of well-curated, new music to discover!

  • What about file formats and streaming quality?

    For streaming we’re using AAC for it’s wide adoption and app-native support. (Plus it can be generated license-free FFMPEG for free.) For downloads we are using lossless FLAC so people are free to convert that to any format they choose after they own the songs.

    OGG, MP3 and AAC for downloads will also be available.

  • What are your privacy settings?

    Resonate intends to have incredibly strict privacy controls.

    When you first create an account you’ll be presented with three options:

    • share none of my data
    • share some of my data
    • share all of my data

    None means none. Your usage patterns, connections, likes – everything will be fully anonymized. Other than basic identity needed to buy credits, we won’t know anything else about you.

    Share “some” means you’ll have total control. You may want to share your profile info with artists or people who find your curated playlist, but retain privacy on other features.

    Share “all” isn’t about selling your data to third parties. That will NEVER happen. It’s just about easily allowing friends and artists seeing what you like and checking out your profile. At any point you want to make something anonymous, we hope to give you that option.

    One other thing – this is all opt in not opt out. Meaning every account will start anonymous and you have to choose to share. Compare that to any social service on the planet and you’ll see how powerful this is.

  • How much will I earn?

    The stream to own listening model is explained on the Fans tab, so let’s dive right into the numbers.

    Like other services, Resonate will retain 30% for operating costs, with 70% going directly to artists and labels. If you’re totally independent, that 70% goes straight to you. If you’re with a label, both you and the label will be able to see your deal right in your Resonate dashboard. Total transparency for everyone involved.

    It gets better.

    You could actually end up getting paid even more than 70%.

    Being in a cooperative means that you have an ownership share and get to earn a piece of the profits in addition to normal fees. So if we make a profit at the end of the first year, you’ll get a share of that based on how much your music was streamed. An equal share that doesn’t favor big artists over small, but in direct proportion to the amount streamed and purchased.

    Something else to keep in mind… In the long run, if we’re able to successfully scale this business and need less to operate, we could end up asking the music community to vote on whether to reduce the Resonate commission to 25 or 20%. While their could be some reasons to keep it at 30%, the point is that the community gets to decide, not a group of rich investors or stockholders.

  • How much does Resonate take?

    Like most other services, 30%.

    Read the “how much will I earn” section to learn more.

  • Can I trust you?

    To borrow a silly phrase, we feel your pain.

    A lot of the people behind Resonate are musicians too. We’ve all been frustrated by the lack of control over how online services work, always feeling like we’re being shut out of the process. We’ve experienced the same outrage you have after a music service made some random change in features because it was based on their best interests and not ours.

    That’s why being a cooperative is so important. It’s a business structure that allows us to share ownership, decision making and profits with everyone involved.

    It’s about putting musicians in control of the most important decisions because it’s YOUR content that will make this service work. Voting, discussion groups, elections to the advisory board and working groups… you’ll always have total access to how this service operates.

  • What about free streams and downloads or pay what you want?

    Ever since Napster opened up Pandora’s box (umm, no pun intended) musicians have been experimenting with different models. Having studied this closely since 2000, we don’t feel anything has worked to the degree that stream to own will. (Of course we have to say “will” because it hasn’t been tested yet.)

    So while we think the model of incredibly cheap discovery leading up to the normal price of a download is going to work really well, we also want to be as flexible as possible.

    For instance, you might want to sell a song at the 6th instead of 9th stream. (Six streams is around 14 cents.) Shouldn’t be a problem.

    Maybe you’ve got such a hot song that you actually don’t want to let it go for 9 streams, but charge a little more. Possible too. The point is, we hope to be as flexible as possible with the model to support artists to offer their music however they want.

    There’s just one thing to keep in mind.

    If you want to give all your music away for free (which is theoretically possible) someone else has to pay for the bandwidth. While we’re working with a key partner on a secure decentralized storage and delivery system that could be really cheap, we won’t know about actual costs until we’re in operation.

    So those are some complications that we’ll discuss with the community when the time comes. And that’s the beauty of Resonate being a cooperative… we all get to work together to decide!

  • Is there a limit on storage space?

    Probably never.

    We’ve run lots of simulations on storage and streaming costs and think we won’t have to impose any limitations, but we won’t know for sure until the service has been running for a while.

    If we end up in a situation where we find that we’ve got a particular problem (like an artist that uploads tons of content but doesn’t get any plays) then we’ll solve that by talking to the community. This is where you’ll get to vote on the best solution after hearing all the facts.

    In other words, there won’t be any surprises about a change in policy as you will help write it.

  • What about remixes, white labels and bootlegs?

    One of the primary goals of the cooperative business structure is fairness for all. Resonate is a multi-stakeholder coop where we strive to balance the needs of ALL members of the community, to no one’s disadvantage.

    Culturally speaking, unauthorized remixes are HUGELY important to the development of new producers and DJs, not to mention the delight fans experience being exposed to new interpretations of their favorite artists.

    From a cultural point of view, it feels like the essence of cooperation. The problem lies in the “unauthorized” part, as the original artist isn’t engaged in the process.

    In the future we sincerely hope to build an infrastructure that would allow new producers to upload their unauthorized remixes and invite the original creators (hopefully also Resonate artists!) into the process. Until that point, we have to decline the use of this content within our system.

  • What about private files?

    Absolutely. We sincerely hope musicians will use Resonate to collaborate with other musicians, or people in the industry, sharing files that are works in progress or made exclusively for certain people.

    As long as we don’t get into a situation where artists are uploading terabytes worth of content and aren’t streaming anything to the general community, we can’t see how this will be a problem.

    Of course, if any issues DO arise, we’ll ask the musicians to decide what the best way forward is, after presenting several possible solutions. That’s democracy in action!

  • What does the blockchain do?

    Blockchain technology is so intense, many people think it’s a second wave, where the Internet itself was the first. Let that sink in a minute. Something as game-changing as the Internet itself? Quite possible.

    For musicians it means a levels of control, freedom and potentially prosperity never before imagined. And as musicians benefit, so will everyone else too.

    We highly recommend reading our introduction to blockchain for metadata and licensing plus another one specifically for DJs and producers.

    We’re building Resonate on the blockchain. It’s gonna be HUGE.

  • I have a distribution deal but it's not exclusive; can I have them stream on Spotify as well your platform?

    Absolutely! As long as your distribution deal allows you to self-distribute and release your music wherever you want, then you can absolutely sign up with us and self-release.

    Remember, you’re a co-owner in Resonate. That means this is legally your platform just like any other member.

    And we absolutely encourage you to release your music in lots of places. We hope you’ll find that you make more money with us and then make Resonate your primary channel in the future!

  • Does my label need to agree to allow Resonate to stream my music?

    Totally depends on your deal.

    Best thing to do is consult your contract to see whether you’re allowed to directly distribute your content through services you own, like your website or Resonate (since you become a co-owner when you sign up).

    If you are not allowed to distribute through other services, but you believe in what we’re doing, then join anyway. The reason is simply that adding a profile is making a statement of support for #fairmusicstreaming and the idea of collective ownership.

    Then tell the other artists on your label. (Politely) bring pressure to bear and together we’ll change the whole industry.

  • What is the revenue sharing model?

    Like other digital service providers, Resonate will retain 30% and return 70% to musicians and labels.

    However, content creators may end up earning an even larger share considering that we share profit distributions as well. (See the cooperative section for details.)

  • Does Resonate pay advances like other services?

    At this time, no.

    Resonate doesn’t have tens of millions of dollars in VC-backed funding, which is usually the reason other services have been able to pay upfront advances for content access.

    While some services have sold off a portion of their company to specific, large labels, Resonate is different in that all labels on our platform are co-owners.

    Profit distributions will be made according to usage patterns (i.e. labels that have more content streamed will receive a higher percentage of profits) but all of these amounts will be fair for everyone, not a select number of preferred partners.

  • How do I coordinate with my artists?

    One primary goal of Resonate is to put artists fully in control – over their profiles, communications, earnings and more.

    This is to contrast other services where an unnecessary barrier exists between artists and the DSP.

    Our aim is to make the system as flexible as possible for all scenarios. Some artists may want full access, while others will want their labels to manage everything.

    Of huge importance are deal points – artists and labels being able to have full access to earnings data directly in their Resonate dashboard. This means that if an artist requests direct payments, we’ll give it to them. The process will involve a mutually-reviewed system where all parties agree to percentage splits before earnings are distributed, so that artists and labels can enjoy total transparency.

    In other words, the days of secret backroom deals are over.

    (This doesn’t mean the numbers will be public, but simply that labels will no longer be able to hide or obfuscate earnings.)

  • I have a distribution deal but it's not exclusive; can I have them stream on Spotify as well your platform?

    Absolutely! As long as your distribution deal allows you to self-distribute and release your music wherever you want, then you can absolutely sign up with us and self-release.

    Remember, you’re a co-owner in Resonate. That means this is legally your platform just like any other member.

    And we absolutely encourage you to release your music in lots of places. We hope you’ll find that you make more money with us and then make Resonate your primary channel in the future!

  • What kind of data will you share?

    Our aim is to make indie labels as profitable as possible, for your success is our success.

    Therefore, we’ll aim to make every conceivable data point available to labels to help increase efficiency and profitability.

    There’s only one caveat – certain details may be anonymized and/or unavailable due to user privacy settings. We will have extremely robust privacy settings for listeners (where their identity is protected in a cryptographic blockchain) so some data points may not be fully available.

There are basically two types of volunteers… those that want to evolve into the Core Team and those that want to help out on the Crowd Campaign.

Those two links should have all the info you need to get involved!

  • How much will curators be paid?

    There are several parts to this, the first of which being the part about curators being paid. Due to many browser extensions that block online advertising, and some social media platforms moving away from publishers and more towards users, curator revenue is down. So being paid anything is a good idea by itself.

    For the first year, we’ll be paying curators a 100% matching micro-payment for the playlists they’ve curated.

    After that, we’ll look at the data, and figure out what will be sustainable, long-term.

  • Curator playlists and embeds

    You’re already embedding music on your site, blog, magazine, Tumblr, whatever. Our goal is to make sharing and discovery easier, and more modular. Playlists today are the like mix-tape-cassettes of days past, but with more technology involved.

    We aim to make submissions easier for artists, as well as making sifting through new releases easier at the same time. How? Native WordPress plugins for most, along with customizable iFrame embeds for everyone else.

    If you think of a problem we can solve in the meantime, be sure to let us know.


  • What's the catch?

    So Resonate will pay bloggers/media/curators, and artists as well? How? This sounds too good to be true.

    If you’re thinking that, you’re not alone. It’s really simple though: Since every play is a small transaction, all we’re really doing is giving a small portion of that transaction to where it originated.

    Curators today are the base of all music media, occupying the spaces that print magazines occupied a long time ago. The model shifted, so we’re shifting with it.

    So tell us: What else can help curators?


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  • A brief introduction

    Being a cooperative means a lot of different things, but you can boil it down to a simple phrase – one member, one share, one vote.

    One of the big problems with capitalism is that it creates pockets of extreme wealth and power… investors and stockholders who retain the majority of value and control over companies and even entire economies.

    A cooperative however is like democracy for business.

    It means being able to vote on how the company runs but also share in the profits.

  • Is Resonate a non-profit?

    Heck no.

    As a platform cooperative, Resonate is growth-oriented like another startup. We could in fact become a billion dollar company, because the global market for the indie music industry is that big.

    The difference is that as a cooperative, all the profits and decision-making is shared among the members. (Even the founder of Resonate has only one share.)

    So while we may have the ethics and accountability of a non-profit, our goal is very much to generate as much income as possible, just NOT at the expense of people or the planet.

  • What type of coop is Resonate?

    Every listener, musician, label and worker in Resonate has a single share.

    This is known as a “multi-stakeholder cooperative” or a “worker/consumer coop” based on the types of roles people have.

    Workers (musicians and Resonate staff) automatically get a share for building the company. Consumers buy their share in order to receive voting rights and profit distributions. Purchasing that share is basically a member fee and it’s just $5 per year.

  • Profit distributions

    As a multi-stakeholder cooperative, here’s how we divide up profits every year:

    • 45% musicians
    • 35% fans
    • 20% Resonate staff + volunteers

    This page explains in more detail how the profits are distributed among each group.

  • If I'm an owner, does that make me liable somehow?

    Cooperatives are limited liability, so if anything disastrous happens like the coop gets sued, members are only liable up to their actual share value which is 1 euro/dollar.

  • Investors and coops

    Startups need investment, but that’s usually a problem when investors want to own 20-30% of your company.

    Let’s be clear – as a cooperative, no single individual can hold more than one share.

    So while we are definitely interested in working with investors who believe in what we’re doing, investing larger amounts in Resonate doesn’t come with special privileges like weighted voting rights or a higher percentage of profits.

    Learn more about our financing strategy or why we’re a cooperative.

Need to know something else?

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