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Dan Le Sac asks, do subscriptions to individual musicians give value for money?

By | Published on Thursday 19 November 2015

Dan Le Sac

Dan Le Sac has returned to his position as CMU columnist, taking time out for a moment from streaming himself playing videogames on Twitch. Although he didn’t leave it behind entirely, comparing the gaming platform’s business model to Bandcamp’s recent launch of artist-specific subscriptions. Is one artist, he pondered, worth $20 a year?

“Although to me [artist subscriptions are] a great idea, how will the average music lover justify giving just one artist Bandcamp’s suggested $20 dollars a year subscription fee when you can have literally millions of songs for $120 a year on Spotify?” he asked. “We could think of this model as Patreon tailored entirely towards music – crowdfunding with sustainability maybe – but when we look outside the music industry to other subscription models, it does seem like music lovers are getting the shitty end of the value-for-money stick”.

Twitch allows people to watch and interact with gamers. “When a broadcaster [on Twitch] grows to a certain size and has a decent number of concurrent viewers, they can become partnered with Twitch. In short, a partnered channel can earn ad revenue if they wish and its viewers can support the stream by paying an optional monthly subscription of $4.99 (of which half goes to the streamer)”.

However, there is no obligation to pay, or even to sign up to the service, but a growing number of broadcasters on Twitch are still able to do it full time.

“The point, the lesson that Twitch can teach musicians, is basically this: humans aren’t dicks”, he says. “When given the opportunity to support someone they ultimately have respect for, they will support them, but we have to show faith in those humans in the first place”.

Read Dan’s article in full here.