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Pre-Proposal: pay musicians around the world 10 cents in Dash per stream

Discussion in 'Pre + Budget Proposal Discussions' started by feedbands, Jun 8, 2018.

  1. feedbands

    feedbands Active Member

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    Hello Dash Community,

    Feedbands is a five year old music streaming service. On June 4-6 we tested a feature where we paid our artists 10 cents in Dash every time a song of theirs was streamed. During that time, we were able to:
    • fix some bugs (not all streams were paying)
    • test out some fraud preventative features (can discuss in private with MNOs)
    • poll our artists on their desired payment frequency
    • evaluate the general reception to the feature
    Results
    During the days that we ran the test, any artist in the world could put their music on Feedbands and earn small amounts of Dash each time a song of theirs was played.

    • Technological capabilities. Working with over a hundred artists averaging 100 streams per day, we generated over 20,000 payments to artists in real time as their songs streamed. This alone was no easy task as there are hard limits to sending many transactions that required innovative solutions. In addition, each payment is verifiable by copying the recipient address from the block and pasting it into the Feedbands search bar.
    • Polling results. Our poll found that 50% of our artists prefer to be paid in real time with each stream, with an even distribution after that preferring daily, weekly and monthly payments.
    • Anti-fraud features: the few anti fraud features we tested worked properly.
    • General reception: The general reception was fantastic. Many artists posted on twitter and facebook about their music and about Dash See here. Artists are excited to earn decent money for their streaming, and at the rate of 10 cents per stream, this experiment paid 100x more than Spotify pays per stream (currently .1 cent).
    • Verification: every streaming payment was verifiable in the blockchain by copying the recipient of a streaming payment, pasting the address into the Feedbands search bar to reveal the artist it was sent to. We can go over a few examples in the comments if people would like to test this.
    Goals
    Our goals through this initiative are to:
    • Create an automated, scalable way to distribute dash
    • Create a distribution channel that it is relatively passive but not a "giveaway"
    • Create a new userbase for Dash: people earning small amounts on an ongoing basis and not as an investment, making their Dash "spendable"
    • Pay artists an extremely competitive rate for streaming.
    • Create and implement a powerful use case for Dash.
    Proposal
    We would like to keep this distribution channel open and flowing to the artists streaming on our site and welcome more artists into the program. There are still many elements in this equation that need to be figured out, so we are only asking for enough money to keep the channel turned ON for a month, and a small development budget to build out some features that were requested (daily / weekly payment batching, facial recognition / identity verification checks for new artist signups).

    Requested budget:
    95 Dash: to be distributed directly to artists with every transaction and recipient publicly verifiable
    30 Dash: development budget
    5 Dash: proposal reimbursement

    Sustainability:
    We have a number of ways that we plan on reaching sustainability with this initiative, including selling advertising and subscriptions. We do not plan to rely on Dash treasury funding forever, but hope to eventually create a business where we are purchasing the Dash to distribute. This is a goal and a hope and something we will be working towards, but there are no guarantees we will be able to achieve it. It is an experiment in distribution at this point.

    In fact, one sustainability initiative is already live: Dashfair.com where are our artists can take the few dollars they have made streaming and buy music gear like guitar picks and instrument cables and also hundreds of household basics and pay in Dash without going into fiat. We are going to be allocating 100% of the profits from Dashfair back into the streaming payout pool without first converting to fiat.

    Managing expectations with our artists
    Currently we are telling our artists that the Dash per stream is not guaranteed in any way and just something we are experimenting with. There is no guarantee any stream will be paid or that payments will be available for any specific period of time or on any specific days. It is all purely experimental at this point with no expectations.


    Earning crypto is the next phase of crypto
    Bryan Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase, famously tweeted that most people who have entered crypto are investors, and the next phase of the crypto space will be ignited by people earning crypto instead of buying / investing.

    We believe Dash needs a real and tangible strategy to help many people around the world to earn small amounts that does not involve the technical and financial challenge of mining.
     
    #1 feedbands, Jun 8, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
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  2. GrandMasterDash

    GrandMasterDash Well-known Member
    Masternode Owner/Operator

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    I imagine, the benefits of real time payment streaming is more suitable for live streams than for pre-recorded streams? I mean, with live events you could, in theory, be adapting network resources in real time. Whereas, with pre-recorded material, it's largely about fixed storage costs and less about latency. And it's not just the logistical side; as an artist I can more easily understand the benefits of real time payments better with live streams, but why with pre-recorded material? Your thoughts?
     
  3. feedbands

    feedbands Active Member

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    Excellent question. All artists today expect to be paid each time their song is played. For example, Spotify currently pays less than one cent per stream which has prompted sustained outcries from musicians for nearly a decade. For example, sometimes don't get paid at all, one artist got paid only a few thousand dollars for a million streams, courts have at times forced spotify to pay more, artists generally agree they get paid nothing.

    So, by offering 10 cents per stream, we are paying somewhere between 50x and 100x what Spotify pays. Which is sure to have a resounding effect in the industry and generally be the answer to everyone's prayers. By paying in real time, we alleviate the deeply held paranoia that Spotify and others have cultivated amongst the musical community that they won't get paid at all, or won't get paid for all their streams.

    It basically creates the best situation possible for the artist. Of course, for artists who prefer to get paid daily / weekly we would also offer that option, though we wouldn't want to hold on to artists earning for too long due to the risk of the budget depleting before the artist gets paid out.
     
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  4. solarguy

    solarguy Active Member

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    This is a great use case experiment. I believe our scaling plan can account for many many microtransactions. But that's a theory at the moment.

    Hey, let's test the theory!

    I think an integral part of the experiment should be to offer the people who are enjoying/downloading the music should have the opportunity to plunk down money into Dash so they can get the satisfaction of helping get the artists a living wage. Everyone in the industry recognizes the problem. My gut feeling is that ten cents a play would rock the industry, and I suspect 30-50% of that can be raised with advertising and the balance could be supplied by the users.

    If it takes off and becomes self sustaining in 6-8 weeks, BOOM, we're off to the races.
     
  5. Argon31

    Argon31 Member

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    This is a good idea.
     
  6. feedbands

    feedbands Active Member

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    It would be a good experiment indeed though creating a paywall typically causes usage to decline sharply. When was the last time you put your credit card number into a paywalled news site who's link you clicked not realizing it was paywalled?

    And if it is optional then we are relying on people's good intentions which also might not work.

    At the end of the day, is there inherent value with giving lots of people all over the world a couple of bucks in Dash? Is it worth it to achieve that result alone? The getfreedash project was brilliant for attempting this though unfortunately not executed well.

    Also, we have been building this service for over five years, if we do something like experiment with a paywall only to lose all our users it could be hard to recover from that.

    I do think there is a solution I just don't know what it is, but the musicians sure are excited to get some Dash. The response has been great in our very limited test. Lots of buzz on social media, lots of dash changing hands. Hope it can work out some how.
     
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  7. solarguy

    solarguy Active Member

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    Make it opt in and whatever the result is, it will tell us something.

    A lot of it will depend on how it is presented of course...
     
  8. Arthyron

    Arthyron Member
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    As I said on DashCentral, I think it's a fantastic idea, just have to find a way to get people on board with it long enough to reach a point of self-sufficiency...then it could be *enormous.* Every artist in the world would want a piece of that pie. So what would incentivize listeners to do their part in funding their favorite artists? Could they tip their favorite artists to contribute to a pool from which the payments are disbursed, like a virtual jukebox or a crowdsourced radio station/DJ? Maybe you could hold contests where fans tip to determine which artists get the most plays on the station, etc? Or maybe users could vote on which artists are awarded this funding model, like a patronage of sorts?

    People seem to be more forthcoming with expenditures when they feel like they have something at stake, when they're participating in something larger, when they feel that their efforts make a difference.

    Have you considered looking to see if there's some way you might collaborate with the "Chant" proposal? It seems like at some point as this service develops, it could intersect...
     
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  9. feedbands

    feedbands Active Member

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    Exactly, the reality is there are a wealth of options. One idea that our team has been kicking around is this, it's the simplest and also the most straightforward. Since we already require a paying membership to vote, the dash could simply be distributed with each vote. Members will vote for the artists and the songs they like anyway, so why not compensate the dash at that point? It also ensures the music that members are actually enjoying are getting compensated, and it solves the problem of where does the money come from.

    Of course, the number of songs which receive votes each day are much less than the number of songs that get played each day, and at this point we feel that the greatest impact would be made simply making a blanket 10 cent per stream payment. But, we could payout every stream until it hits a tipping point, and then switch over to only paying out votes which would come directly out of subscription dues.

    Looks like we might have a plan :)
     
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