Music and Podcasting

To begin, a great rant about the music industry.

Ive decided that if I really want this PP idea to get off the ground, Ive gotta start simple. If I limit it to just the audio files that audioscrobbler can already handle, the rest of it should be pretty easy and not difficult to test. And yet it would still help to address the problems of the music industry and independent audio podcasters.

Let me explain how this would work.

Artists create a website where all of their music or podcasts are free to download and without restrictions like DRM. Then, the artist registers as a creator at publicpatron.org. This involves telling PP where on the artist’s site to find their audio files, and telling PP how to pay the artist. In order to verify this artist has access to the website they claim is hosting their content, they must also host a file listing their PP creator id where they host their audio. Then, if they want to get support for their creations, their listeners need to set up an account on PP as well.

The system depends on listeners’ willingness to support artists, but PP makes this as painless as possible and encourages a pro-consumer and pro-artist movement for digital media. When listeners register with publicpatron.org, they set up a monthly donation of at least $5 and then download and install a plugin for their media player. This monthly donation is then divided among the creators registered with PP whose work the listener listened to that month, as reported by the plugin, based on time spent listening.

Publicpatron.org provides the tech and financial support to make this happen, bundling listeners’ donations to artists based on time listened to an artist’s works. PP is a non-profit organization, whose sole existence is to provide and extend this system of artist support. While it may need some additional funding to take off, the plan is to support the system solely on the interest made on the donations after they leave the listener account and before they reach the artist, perhaps two months. The hope for the future is to extend the system to ever more media players and video files, handling streaming files eventually. With the increase in accessibility of mobile broadband, the goal is to make most media open and independent.

But this requires people to support artists even as they get their creations for free. Will they? Would you?

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