I need a fan. Just one. Maybe it’s you?
My teenagers think I’m a fuddy-duddy when it comes to accessing music. I realize I’m furthering their case with the use of the word “fuddy-duddy.”
As a new recording artist, (as well as an old fart), I’m still learning about how to make money from my songs. However, there is one word that can silence any room of hard-working musicians: streaming.
After that silence, there’d be a cacophony of chaos. Most musicians, when asked what they think about streaming, fall into one of these categories:
Tourists: You only make money from music if you’re touring, selling tickets and t-shirts, so stop belching about the streaming sites and get your ass on the road.
Purists: Music is art. As long as people are listening to my music, I don’t care that it doesn’t make money.
Realists: Streaming is a great way to build your audience. Every little bit adds up, but it takes time to manage it all, so figure that into your overall plan.
We talk about it enough, but what is streaming, exactly?
Streaming is a way to transfer digital data, in this case, the digital version of a song, so that it can be processed, i.e. listened to, as a steady and continuous stream. Rather than download an entire song, thereby storing it, your device is kind of conduit, with enough space to store a little of the song at a time, allowing you to start playing the song even as the rest of it is coming through. And then it’s gone, not stored on your device.
Downloading music takes time and takes up digital space. Streaming uses less space, practically none. The technology also provides access to just about any song you might want to hear at any moment you want to hear it. All you need is a good connection on the smart device tucked in your back pocket. Easier, and considerably cheaper, than collecting every record ever produced in history. There just aren’t enough milk crates in the world for that.
The most often used streaming services are Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, SoundCloud, and Apple Music.
Wanna skip the pitch? Go here and sign up: https://www.standingoproject.com/artist/melissa-monforti/. When you try to listen to a song, it will prompt you.
Standing O is a subscription-based streaming service that puts a priority on not only building a great music community online, but also financially supporting the artists involved. It’s the only ethical streaming service I am aware of. Remember fair trade coffee? Well check out fair trade streaming.
What appeals to me most about Standing ‘O’ is the integrity with which they treat the artists. Even as an amateur, I was welcomed as though I was a national act. Because of that, I began to see myself with more respect. I started practicing “fake it ‘til you make it” in earnest.
When you join, you get all my songs, and you also get access to all the other great songs from all other artists on the site. I often open the app to listen while I’m cooking or cleaning. There’s always some song that inspires me. Recently, over a fresh batch of curried veggies, it was Mark Erelli’s “Five Beer Moon.”
So here’s how it works: You join for only $5, $10, or $20 (whatever you choose—it’s a pay-what-you-can model) and 50% of that goes directly to support me and my music each month. The more people I bring to the site, the more of the pie I get. In contrast, sites like Spotify pay fractions of a cent per play.
You also get 250+ interviews with great artists over the last 13 years along with music, videos, articles etc, including TWO interviews with me. It’s an inside, intimate connection with amazing musicians.
Not sure? Check it out free for a 10-day trial, no credit card required.
Thing is, I need at least ONE fan to sign up to get my proceeds. Will you be my fan?
One of my best songs is already on there: Humble Man. You can listen to it right now on my page by clicking the link below. Once you try to play a song, it will prompt you to join. Make sure to indicate ME as the artist you’re joining for.
I don’t think I fit with the Tourists, the Purists, or the Realists. I’m making a new category: the Integritists. Of all the ways to make money from my music, I’ll try any and all that line up with my values. Join me.