Have you ever felt like the music industry needs a revolution of sorts? As an artist, everyone has their hand out asking for part of your money. As a consumer you face ever increasing costs for your music whether you’re paying monthly for a streaming service, or paying on a per-track ownership basis.
Why can’t there be a blending of both sides of the spectrum to create an intuitive, friendly interface that helps connect artists, fans, and djs into one system. Recently, I stumbled upon a website and music service striving to do just that!
Genres, Albums, & Tracks
Taking a glance here, you can see that Arena.com is not just a platform for one genre of music. Much like other music platforms, the consumer can find music of a wide variety of genres.
One feature here that intrigues me is the “Local Music” link. Clicking this brings the consumer to a section of the site dedicated to “Fan Reports”. Here’s where it gets interesting. Fans and consumers can use the Fan Reports to read & write reviews of music and events.
From the content created, the user can then earn rewards. Every 1,000 views earns the user $1.00 that they can then use to purchase tracks through Arena.com.
Getting into the actual play portion of the music is quite simple. Clicking a genre of your choice, you are presented with featured albums for that genre. Quite a helpful feature when looking for new music to listen to.
A user can also do a search for a song title or artist. Clicking the artist name brings the user to the artist page. This brings the user to the Arist Profile, which should provide various albums and a radio (playlist).
Clicking an track title will bring the user to the album (or E.P. etc) that the track is featured on. At that point they can play the album. While there is no method for the user to start that individual track, they can simply click the forward/backward navigation in the album play to get to the song they want.
For instance, I did a search for Kiesza’s “Sound of a Woman” album and went to it. There are a couple things you’ll notice on this screen. First, the tracks are locked meaning you can’t start tracks individually. However, looking to the right you see some interesting things. Firstly you can purchase the track straight out for $1.00. If I’m purchasing tracks from artists, I’m going to do it through Arena.com, more on that later. Another feature which I find quite interesting is the play-to-own feature. You’ll notice in the image that Hideaway only takes 5 listens until you own it, other tracks take more. Owning the track allows for instant play, as well as (from my understanding) download of owned tracks.
The final button on the far right adds the track to the user’s radio. From the user’s profile they can click play and have a shuffled play of their radio station racking up the play counts earning them their free tracks.
As I said earlier, Arena.com aims to bring artist, djs, and users into one ecosystem. So why would an artist or dj want to use Arena.com as their platform of choice? Quite simply? More money.
Taking a look at the graphic to the right, Arena.com claims to have the highest pay rate in the world for musicians, while providing free access for their fans. For tracks that artists opt-in with, they’ll receive $0.21 per play vs. their standard $0.01 which they claim is still the highest payout as Spotify, Pandora, and iTunes pay less than $0.01 per play.
This is just for tracks that are played/streamed. Looking in the right column you can see why as an artist you would want to sell your music through Arena.com. 85-100% of the money spent on your track goes into your pocket. It makes financial sense to sell your music through Arena.com.
Creating a user profile on Arena.com is free and simply requires signing up and providing the required information. Users can also connect via Facebook and Google. Creating a profile allows the fan to create their own radio station.
Signing up as an artist/band currently is free (limited time). This allows artists to create a branded profile in which they can provide bio information, share a radio playlist of their own which can include their own music or even those of others they like.
There is also an option for record labels to create a profile, again free for a limited time. As a record label it states that the profiles will allow editorials, merchandise, music, and music videos in one nicely designed/themed page.
The final option (which is available by invitation only) is pro dj profiles. Pro DJ profiles showcase music and get paid by Arena to do so. I’ve got very little information on this currently, so perhaps later I can update this if I locate more information.
No matter who you are a fan, a dj, or an artist, Arena.com makes sense. As a fan, you can either purchase tracks directly, or play them and unlock them for free. As an artist or dj, more money and less people with their hands in your cookie jar.