For months Arena Music has been toying with offering payouts in the popular cryptocurrency bitcoin. Now, in a recent announcement, it has unveiled plans to offer the payout program to all artists on the platform beginning in June 2017.
After six months of testing involving bitcoin in the cities of Phoenix and Atlanta, the new payment method is being ushered amid a record-setting rise in the cryptocurrency market over the past several months.
Arena Music is an on-demand merchandising portal that leverages a free streaming service to assist artists in monetizing their content. Through the use of this site, musicians are able to promote merchandise sales while listeners stream exclusive content from established artists and independent acts without advertisements or a monthly subscription.
Arena’s value proposition addressed a pressing issue in the music industry, namely, how do artists get appropriately compensated when consumers no longer purchase music to own. By positioning the music as a loss leader, Arena helps artists and labels bring attention to consumers on their exclusive merchandise offerings.
Offering payouts in the popular cryptocurrency highlights the company’s forward-thinking approach and alliance with independent content creators by offering them compensation with another form of capital or investment; one that can never be provided by any subscription-based streaming platform.
The first band to receive such a payout will be an independent punk group known as Red Tank, who released their third full-length album, “BIO/FEEDBACK” in collaboration with Arena Music in August of 2016. The band is known for their “Do-It-Yourself” ethos, energetic shows, and apocalyptic, dystopian, and existential lyrical themes.
Say’s Red Tank frontman Clipper Arnold when asked about the bitcoin payout announcement:
“I think it is an interesting, forward-thinking approach and it is something we are excited to be a part of. I think we share in the idea of pushing the imaginary of ways in which art can be created and can flourish outside of conventional approaches and infrastructure. I think this is a prime example of that paradigm in action.”
According to Arena Music founder and CEO, Damon Evans, the Phoenix area is already seeing the impact of Arena Music payouts in bitcoin:
“We are watching our local music scene build the foundation for an entirely new way of releasing single tracks and full albums that pay each writer, producer and featured artist their shares of the $0.01 per stream Arena offers in bitcoin. Now that we understand how essential this basic detail is in today’s music economy, we’re starting to think that this level of transparency should accompany all royalty payment methods.”