DISTRO.fm is the world's first subscription-based, non-profit music distribution platform. Think of us as the co-op version of iTunes. Read more
This project's funding goal was not reached on May 20, 2012.
About this project
/// EVEN THOUGH WE DIDN'T MEET OUR FUNDRAISING GOALS AT KICKSTARTER, THIS HAS BEEN A HUGE SUCCESS!
/// THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE OUTPOURING OF SUPPORT AND FOR SPREADING THE WORD ABOUT THE PLATFORM AROUND THE WORLD!!
- We've been contacted by hundreds of bands / labels to include their music on our platform.
- Various key figures in the music industry have reached out to lend their support for DISTRO as we move forward.
- Dozens of programmers have reached out to volunteer their talents to build the site.
- Some of our all-time favorite bands have come forward to volunteer to perform at a BLOWOUT LAUNCH PARTY!
- We've been contacted by numerous benefactors that are working with our team to finance the next phase in development, and we are still receiving direct donations to our fiscal sponsorship donation site.
- We've received great exposure from some journalists and sites we really love: Gizmodo, Hypebot, MTV Hive, and Wired.
WE'RE VERY EXCITED ABOUT THE NEXT PHASE IN DISTRO!! WE HOPE YOU WILL JOIN US:
- Visit DONATE.DISTRO.fm to make a direct, tax deductible donation.
- Visit ACTION.DISTRO.fm to learn how to become engaged in the platform.
/// WHAT DOES SUBSCRIPTION-BASED MEAN?
THINK OF A MAGAZINE...
WIth DISTRO, you contribute directly to an artist by subscribing to them. Once you subscribe, you automatically receive new music from that band for a year. The music you receive can be streamed or downloaded from your DISTRO music library, or can appear in your iTunes or Spotify libraries. This is called a subscription-based model (or "Sub-Bass" as we call it.)
The easiest analogy is purchasing a magazine (digital music retail like iTunes, Amazon Mp3, Google Music) compared to subscribing to a magazine (DISTRO.fm.)
/// WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY NONPROFIT?
**VISIT OUR FISCAL SPONSORSHIP PAGE TO MAKE A PRIVATE, TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION: DONATE.DISTRO.fm.
THERE ARE THREE MAIN REASONS WE'RE RUNNING AS A NONPROFIT.
FIRST: We want to prevent leakage. Too much of the money being exchanged in the music marketplace is being lost to third party intermediaries. Each of the three major retail sites (iTunes, Amazon Mp3, Google Music) retain 30% of the total cost of the transaction. Reportedly, only 40%-60% of the money coming into streaming sites is being distributed to artists. Taking retail and streaming together, that means that over 30% of the $8,000,000,000 being spent on digital music each year is being lost to third party intermediaries. Not to the bands we love, that are making the music we love. Because we're a nonprofit, we're only legally allowed to generate enough revenue to cover our operating costs, which will mainly consist of development, bandwidth and hosting. That means: No Big Payments to Investors; No Dividends for Shareholders; No Yachts for CEOs; No Marketing Costs; and No Lavish Offices because we run as a decentralized company.
SECOND: We want community-based decision making. Since we're a nonprofit, our shareholders are the people who are actually using and interacting with the platform. We’re in the process of forming a Board of Directors made up of individuals with expertise in the music world. Additionally, everyone who uses the platform will have a vote in the functionality of the platform. This way, we’ll grow organically with input from everyone, in a 'collective' atmosphere.
THIRD: We believe in transparency. (see below)
/// WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY 'TRANSPARENCY?'
Have you ever tried to contact Amazon Mp3 to ask them what percentage of the sale price of a digital album they retain? Or have you tried to ask Spotify what percentage of their revenue they retain? I have. The answer is silence...
Since we are running as a nonprofit organization, we are legally obligated to maintain a certain level of transparency in our finances. This means that our community can rest assured that any money that is being generated by the platform is actually being spent on the operation, maintenance, and growth of the platform.
/// BOARD OF DIRECTORS
We are looking to constitute a Board of Directors consisting of 20-30 individuals from different, music-related walks of life. If you are interested in being on the Board, please visit: BOARD.DISTRO.FM. So far, we have:
- KYLE MARLER || President / Founder. Kyle is a musician, video artist, and attorney. He founded DISTRO.fm in the Summer of 2010. He splices together video collages from NYC-based music and arts events, and publishes them on his blog: g r o s s y m m e t r i c. Kyle is also the Development Director at Showpaper.
- SIDNEY SAN MARTIN || Technology Director. Sidney is a formidable tech warrior. He conceptualized and implemented all of the technologies that are running the Beta version of DISTRO.fm. This amazing framework that Sidney has created will serve as the backbone of the site as we move forward with development. Sidney has a background in robotics, web security, and is currently working at Deeptech.
- JEFFREY ISOM || Design Director. Jeff is made of liquid-hot magma. He is the creative force behind all of the user-interface design for the site thus far, and runs a visual communication studio called Pre Sense Form. Additionally, Jeffrey works closely with Range Life Records to inform their design aesthetic, and is the recipient of the Spencer Museum of Art Rocket Grant promoting innovative, experimental, artist-driven, and artist-centered projects.
- JOSEPH AHEARN is a music/arts wizard. He is a core member of the Silent Barn crew, plotting the opening of a new space after their robbery-inspired, hugely-successful Kickstarter campaign. He has a passion for alternative spaces, which dovetails nicely into his gig as curator at Clocktower Gallery where he invites musicians and artists to make art and music in a gallery situated on top of a courthouse in Lower Manhattan. He is the extraordinarily-effective Managing Director of Showpaper. And, he is a Google Master.
- GREGORY KELLY has all kinds of experience in software development, running a global software product, and most recently starting a tech startup himself. He is a principal at Market Maven Solutions and President of StreetConnect, LLC. Gregory loves music -- with a focus on jazz -- and has a razor-sharp perception of where online music is heading.
- JORDAN MICHAEL is the hardest-working man in DIY. He is the Listings Director for Showpaper, where he creates a crib-sheet of thousands of all ages shows in NYC. When not doing listings, he’s also steadily booking and promoting shows in a number of different venues. He battles the Internet.
- TODD PATRICK has his fingerprints all over virtually every worthwhile aspect of the Brooklyn music scene and beyond. He communicates via his popular website and newsletter. He’s preparing ready to re-launch Market Hotel as a major non-profit cultural center / music venue in Bushwick. He is the Executive Director and founder of Showpaper. He runs 285 Kent and numerous music rehearsal spaces around the city. He’s organized music festivals in Austin, Texas and Monterrey Mexico.
/// WHERE IS THE KICKSTARTER MONEY GOING?
The money from this campaign will take us from the Alpha version of the site to a Beta version. More specifically: (1) we need to implement the payment functionality so fans can make contributions and bands can receive payments; and (2) we need to build-out the Back-End of the platform to make it as easy as possible for bands to distribute music to subscribers. FUNDAMENTALLY, our objective is to cover the operational costs of our platform solely through private donations; fundraising campaigns similar to this one; and foundational support.
/// INSTEAD OF DONATING MONEY, CAN SOMEONE HELP WITH PROGRAMMING?
YES! WE'D LOVE YOUR HELP!
DISTRO is built in Node.JS. We use Backbone. We use MongoDB. We're looking to get as much from as many programmers as possible. If you're able to lend a hand, send us an e-mail at: TECH@DISTRO.FM.
/// ARE THERE OTHER WAYS TO HELP?
YES. We're looking to build a team of hard-working talented individuals in many different fields: User Interface Design, Administration, Nonprofit Development, Troubleshooting, Customer Support. If you would like to offer your time and energy to the platform, visit: ACTION.DISTRO.FM.
/// HOW CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?
Find out more information at: ACTION.DISTRO.fm.
E-mail any further questions to: HELLO@DISTRO.fm.
We will post all questions and answers at: FAQ.DISTRO.fm.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
DISTRO BUCKS! Every dollar that you contribute will be doubled as vouchers that can be used to purchase subscriptions upon the full launch of the platform. Its kinda like having a DISTRO.fm gift card!Estimated delivery:
DISTRO PIONEER! Your donated money can be used as DISTRO BUCKS, AND you will be a DISTRO.fm PIONEER. Your name will be programmed right into the DISTRO code, and you will be listed on our DISTRO HEARTS page.Estimated delivery:
T-SHIRTS! In addition to being a PIONEER, and receiving DISTRO BUCKS, you will also receive a DISTRO.fm T-SHIRT! Shirts will be designed by our Design Director, Jeffrey Isom.Estimated delivery:
5 backers Limited (195 left of 200)
LAUNCH CONCERT TICKETS!
Your donated money can be used as DISTRO BUCKS, your name will appear on our DISTRO HEARTS page, you get our AWESOME T-SHIRT, AND...
You will receive a ticket for our LAUNCH CONCERT. We're aiming for July 4th as the launch date for the beta version of the platform. To coincide with this launch, we're planning a blowout concert event in Brooklyn. A $100 donation gets you a reserved ticket for that event.... (We can't announce who's playing, but with the combined concert-throwing expertise of the current Board of Directors, its sure to be a blowout.)Estimated delivery:
DISTRO STARTER PACKAGE! If you're a band, you can donate $200 and receive a starter package, which includes: (1) your unique, DISTRO ^handle^ reserved just for you; (2) customized postcards displaying your network handle; and (3) you will be part of the first batch of bands to use the site. All of the money that you donate can also be used on the site for subscriptions when we launch.Estimated delivery:
- (41 days)