A few weeks ago I was contacted by the guys at Moozar to look at their new ‘reward for support’ service for artists. I was immediately intrigued by their idea of rewarding fans financially for sharing music – and encouraging fans to pay to *support* the artist, rather than paying for a tangible product.
Moozar, in a nutshell, is another site where bands upload their music and connect with fans who will listen to their songs. Nothing new there.
But Moozar isn’t trying to be the next Soundcloud or Reverbnation. From what I can tell, Moozar wants to build a platform that encourages fans to reward their favourite artists with small tips. The other side to Moozar, which I find particularly interesting is that they’re offering music fans what they call a ‘reward link’, which essentially allows music fans to earn 20% of any referred rewards that come through that link.
At this stage, I’m skeptical. I have two big questions going through my head.
Should fans be paid for sharing music?
First of all, would anyone actually reward an artist? The music fan doesn’t appear to get any tangible benefit for doing so, so why would they?
Secondly, is it ethical / right to be encouraging fans to share music via financial incentives?
The answer to the first question appears to be yes – fans do appear to be rewarding artists. After scanning over some their artists, I found some songs with over 250 rewards. However, most artists using Moozar seem to have around 10 – 20 rewards per song.
The answer to the second question is tricky. IF a fan were to a share a song anyway, I see no reason why they shouldn’t receive a 20% commission on any referred ‘reward’ money that the artist wouldn’t have received without them.
Another consideration is that this is completely normal in other industries – You can become an ‘affiliate’ of virtually any product sold on Amazon (including AmazonMp3s), and earn a commission for referring sales.
I don’t think there’s an ethical issue in paying fans to share music, I just think it’s perhaps a bit of a grey area when it comes to people who aren’t genuine fans who are passing off as being fans to share your music for profit – but that situation seems very unlikely.
A great platform for getting your music heard
One thing I love about Moozar is they’ve built the compelling sharing mechanism into the platform, so that the artist doesn’t have to work out how to persuade fans to share their music.
The prospect of earning a small amount of cash for simply hitting a like or tweet button makes doing so a lot more attractive for music fans. There’s now a clear ‘what’s in it for me’ for sharing music, which has long been an altruistic act or an action to imply status / personality.
In that sense, Moozar is a very smart service.
Using Moozar as a revenue stream
The concept of Moozar’s business model for artists is a smart one, but I don’t think it’s going to revolutionize the music industry just yet. From what I can see on their website, the average ‘reward’ donation appears to be around $0.80. This means that even with 250 rewards (which seems to be the upper level of rewards per song) that’s still only $200 in revenue.
This is a decent amount of cash, especially when compared with other revenue streams like Spotify royalties or iTunes sales, but it’s not something you could live on easily – that is, unless Moozar increases how much fans pay.
The obvious solution to me is to offer fans something for their $0.80 – rather than having an altruistic platform of fans supporting the artists they love, go one step further and integrate some Kickstarter-esque reward scheme, where fans can reward $0.80 to get a digital download, $10 to get a single posted to them, or $100 to have a 1-on-1 Skype with the artist.
That kind of reward scheme + the current sharing mechanism could be a powerful combination.
To check out Moozar for yourself, visit Moozar.com.
Over and out,