Whitestone is the first platform for interactive music experiences. A place to create, collect and truly enjoy music online. We are a group of artists, designers and programmers with a vision to bring album art to the internet, using the platform to create special interactive editions of albums and videos.
What do we mean by interactive music experiences? Well, for instance: converting a static album cover to an interactive cover by assigning key commands, touch gestures or camera input to control the layers of the artwork and the tracks. Technically it is possible and a bunch of artists are already doing it but conventional music platforms are not built for such advanced releases. We make tools to help artists create and release interactive experience and for fans to enjoy them.
Streaming is just the beginning, let's take it a step further!
- Reason 01: We could take 500K from venture capital but they'll ask for double or triple this amount back within one or two years, meaning we'll have to sell advertisements, sell user information and take large cuts from artists earnings to pay back what we took. We want to avoid that.
- Reason 02: Frankly we see Whitestone more as an independent movement than just an online platform. It is an international movement of artists, creators and music fans who want to push online music further, the platform is just a tool.
By funding Whitestone on Kickstarter we form our community and gather great people in a very organic way. There are thousands of micro communities of music fans around the globe - United we can support one another and the artists we love.
So... we made an interactive credits page that generates a mark for each backer. Every backer becomes a piece of the shiny stone you see below.
Join us! Choose your reward on the right and let's build the first platform for interactive music experiences together! www.whitestone.io/cornerstones
The official Whitestone T
The official Whitestone vinyl carrier!
Super LTD research/art book
In 2013 when Whitestone was just an idea, Roey made this research/art book. It documents that whole year's process. 179 pages of illustrations, photography, typography and design.
Only 20 available!
Back in 1981 MTV built a platform for artists to make music for television. They didn't invent the video clip, artists had made videos before, they made it easier for artists to publish those videos for the right audience.
By making a platform dedicated to videoclips MTV led a new industry. They encouraged artists, animators, videographers, producers and many others to collaborate and release original content using a new medium.
That's what we're going to do with Whitestone - Build a place for artists to create music for the internet - and by doing so form a strong surrounding creative industry and push online music forward.
True music fans want to support artists and want to have cool sh*t - It's a fact. Researches shows that those who consider themselves true music fans account for 75% of the music industry's revenue (about $20-$26 billion a year and that's only in the US).
We don't have a regular subscription model but a virtual wallet. As a member of the Whitestone community you set your monthly budget ($2/$5/$10/$20), this budget goes to your virtual wallet. When you see a post you like, an album/EP/video/review/quote/whateva' you can back the creator directly. It's a simple, transparent and honest way to support your favorite artists. It also encourages artists to create cool sh*t (which is what true fans really want, so everybody wins).
We created a tip jar calculator, check out how effective a few cents can be!
Whitestone was named after the inventor of the album artwork - Alex Steinweiss (Steinweiss is stone white in German). Before Steinweiss came up with the idea to make unique artwork for albums, they were covered with a flat brown dust wrapper. The first album he illustrated made 800% more profit, it added value to the record and soon enough became an integral part of the culture of music.
With the transition to MP3s we lost the album, the cover and the art, we were left with a track list. The internet allowed us to publish music more efficiently but it diminished the product and changed the way we experience music.
We set ourselves a goal to apply Mr. Steinweiss' vision to current technologies - bring back album art and create rich online experiences that are auditory, visual and interactive.
Whitestone began in 2012 as Roey's graduation project at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague. Roey researched the way we experienced music throughout the past 100 years, he also documented the process of music creation, release and promotion with his band Letters From Abroad. Six months later he made the first draft for a streaming platform featuring fullscreen artwork.
Last year Wouter, Martijn and Marko joined the team. The four started working together developing Whitestone and spreading the word among music artists, animators, media artists and many other music addicts.
Below is our timeline of execution. We've already invested about 35K into development, the Kickstarter goal is another 75K which will allow us to finalize what we've started so we can release the platform early next year. The stretch goals will help us continue to develop Whitestone without asking outsiders for any large investments.
Risks and challenges
KEEPING IT INDEPENDENT
The main challenge is keeping Whitestone independent. We are the first to create this kind of platform, which gives us leverage, but inevitably other startups will follow. It will be challenging to scale quickly without venture capital but that's why we're here on Kickstarter. Your support will allow us to overcome this challenge and keep Whitestone independent, transparent and fair.
By the way: we are not saying "no" to every investor. If an investor comes along who shares our long term vision and with whom we can make transparent arrangements that guarantee our independence: we won't say no. This could be artists, Indie labels or others.
The browser has been developing quite fast in the past few years yet it still has it's limitations. Whitestone is a collaborative project which makes it easier to keep up with technological improvements and features. We are engaged with top notch digital agencies who are more than up to the technological challenge.
So far, every challenge we have faced has made Whitestone better, stronger and more inspiring. Challenges are nothing but questions that need answers. Ideas take time and devotion to become reality and this is the mission we set ourselves to achieve - We are going to make this rock!
If and when challenges arise we are committed to remaining transparent and keeping everyone in the loop.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)