A Next-Generation Music Sharing App"Earz" Is Launching a Kickstarter Campaign to Fund Its Completion
The App has been designed to maximize sharing, but also allows users to pay for items they want to keep longer than 7 days.
Santa Monica, CA -- (SBWire) -- 10/31/2014 --The Earz App and underlying service combine the principles of peer to peer music sharing and paid licencing to accelerate distribution and optimise income for Independent artists, labels and distributors. It also offers fun and rewards to its users in return for their patronage and sharing activity. Users can share songs and any other form of digital content between smartphones and over social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
The App has been designed to maximize sharing, but also allows users to pay for items they want to keep longer than 7 days. This follows the underlying principles of Crowdfunding and assumes a level of generosity to exist in loyal supporters, which would compel them to pay for content and support the artist.
Payment for content is on an honesty system. There is no mechanism for disabling unpaid content kept longer than 7 days and no way of tracking unlicensed use of content. Activityis recorded for the purpose of rewarding sharing behaviour that results in income for the artist. Earz pays a percentage of monies collected to the informal network that paid and shared the content forward. This can be meaningful revenue for semi-professional and professional music promoters who break successful acts. The artist can also provide ad hoc rewards such as tickets and merchandise to supporters who stand out.
Can a pro-patronage approach succeed where anti-piracy has failed?
“Some may consider the assumption of generosityby music patrons to be something of a social experiment”, says Earz founder Andrew Darbyshire. “This is because we have shifted the focus from protecting against unlicensed downloads towards maximizing the benefits of accelerated sharing.” The proof will be in the pudding when the App goes live to see if an artist can rely on the generosity of their supporters and the effect of positive incentives to generate encouraging results.
Certainly the mainstream music business has foundDRM and punitive measures ineffective against music piracy. The IFPI released a report in 2010 declaring that 95% of music downloads were illegal. Earz represents a switch in strategy where instead of focusing on preventing loss, there is a focus on the positive aspects of music sharing and tapping into a natural desire in people to support artists.
The future of Independent music lies in its roots
It is becoming generally recognised that the future of Independent music lies in grassroots support rather than top down promotion. This means artists need to encourage and build support for their music from the activity of their support base. The artist increasingly has to rely on their own efforts to generate momentum in their career. Earz has designed its service to assist artists with a zero up front cost and up to 90% of revenue from sales of their music.
The next generation of music distribution for Independent artists has to utilise social networks and P2P sharing to maximize their potential for discovery by supporters.
Sharing music has always been a type of social currency. Earz is committed to providing a legitimate way for this to happen and to help build a meaningful bond between the artist and the music lover.
Crowdfunding successes suggest Earz model may be a winner
The success of Crowdfunding enterprises such as Kickstarter is testimony to the fact that people will generously support the creation of music. Earz will be there to help the artist continue to build on their support base and continue to generate revenue post-production using the same patronage principles that underpin Crowdfunding.
To learn more about the project, readers can find a link to the Kickstarter campaign page here:
Earz was founded by Andrew Darbyshire, a software developer, musician and entrepreneur who has spent the past 14 years developing software for mobile content distribution. His companies have supplied technology to drive millions of dollars per month in sales for International clients. He is also passionate about supporting a thriving Independent music scene. Andrew is Australian and commutes between Mullumbimby, Australia and Los Angeles.
Earz has offices in Los Angeles and Mullumbimby, Australia with co-founders and co-workers in both locations. The company plans to launch in Australia and the US in December 2014, before launching in Europe in 2015.
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