The music industry has changed and continues to change rapidly, all the result of technology. Since 2015, the digital distribution of music has become the prevalent method for artists to make their music available to listeners. Now there’s a new way to circumvent the digital gatekeepers – Artist Republik.
In the past, distributors pushed their music to brick-and-mortar record shops like Tower Records. The major labels, seeking to attract buyers into the stores, spent money promoting new music. A middleman took a slice of the revenue pie at each step of the journey.
Few listeners nowadays purchase physical music. Admittedly, vinyl records have made a remarkable comeback and a few people still listen to CDs, but music now is mostly consumed through streaming platforms.
Indie-artists newly signed by the big labels find themselves locked into less-than-beneficial contracts. Sadly for these indie-artists, the big three labels promote primarily big-name artists simply because that’s where the profit is.
This is why indie-artists insist on maintaining control of their music. Their goal is to place their music on streaming platforms such as Spotify, Google Play, and iTunes, as well as YouTube. Digital distributors convey music to the platforms, where listeners either download the music of their choice for a small fee, or as on Spotify, listen to music for a flat monthly fee.
There are many distribution services but the catch-22 for artists trying to get noticed in an ocean of music is that most impose a multitude of fees or take a portion of royalties. According to MusicBusiness Worldwide, approximately 40,000 new tracks hit Spotify every day last year.
Enter Artist Republik, a new online marketplace designed for indie-artists. Founded by Nick Cianfaglione, Artist Republik pulled in $540,000 in seed investment from David Beirne, founding partner of Benchmark Capital, renowned for ventures in eBay, Twitter, Instagram, OpenTable, and Juniper Networks, along with capital from Lameck Humble Lukanga and Bob Brown of Capital Markets of York IE. These venture capitalists have skin in the game, testifying to their confidence in Artist Republik’s platform, which includes social networking, career management, booking, collaborations, and revenue.
Artist Republik’s model changes the way artists, musicians, technicians, producers, venues, and ancillary vendors hook up, gain cost-effective marketing, and retain revenue. The company’s beta enrollment of 15,000 users witnesses to the fact that independent music distributors and small, boutique labels are hungry for a dedicated marketplace hub.
“The indie music industry needed its own ‘LinkedIn meets ASCAP’ social community to affordably bring talent together to make deals,” Cianfaglione explains. “Artist Republik accelerates this business building by dismantling industry conventions that bottlenecked careers.”
There is no fee to join Artist Republik. As members they can pick and choose from the company’s bespoke ‘Show Tool’ services menu. Each service operates on a pay-per-use basis, including low-cost ticketing sales, show booking/management, venues and festivals, merchandising, contract negotiations, IP protections, fanbase development, musicians and producers, as well as graphics, websites, and videography, and direct DSP distribution (one-time $5 fee/single).
No contracts and no hidden fees allow members to hang on to 100 percent of their revenue. Artist Republik makes its money from subscriptions, transaction fees, and advertising.
Artist Republik provides indie artists a viable means to navigate the vast music streaming machine, especially now during the pandemic. Many big-name artists have postponed releasing albums during the pandemic, deeming it too risky. Now is the perfect time for indie-artists to put out music. There are fewer major releases nudging the indies to the back of the line, and the streaming platforms need to feed the big machine. With shrewd marketing, indie-artists now have a chance at the limelight.
Check out Artist Republik