How did we get here?
Music has been a part of being human for as long as there have been humans. Music is the medium for bringing people together, shaping cultures. It transcends language barriers. It is not only a very emotional part of our lives but also a social one. Music is so fundamental that other forms of art rely on it as a means of emotional expression. What is theatre without music? What is cinema without a score?
The decline of the value of music
Twenty years ago, albums cost between ten and twenty dollars each. Today we can listen to every song in the world without commercials for about ten bucks a month. Or for free, if we don’t mind the commercials. the music industry accidentally *convinced us* that music has no value. This obviously isn’t sustainable.
Decentralise all the things
As a team of music-lovers, tech enthusiasts and digital natives, we’ve been working on this problem for the past six months: How can we enable artists to stay independent How can they still have a sustainable income. How is it possible to involve both the artist and the fan? We’ll start with the following: Leaving out the labels. Because they have lost their relevance. Their importance of marketing artists faded, and now with web 2.0 and beyond, other services have taken over: Soundcloud acts as a distribution platform Instagram is the marketing tool. Facebook is the event calendar. And Twitter is the communication channel between artist and fan. Labels have been mostly reduced to a brand name. They are a hollow shell, that take at least 50 percent of the artist’s revenues. We believe labels are a relict of the past: We think it’s possible to build a platform that leaves labels out of the equation. a platform where revenues are routed directly to artists a platform with transparency built-in. a platform that is owned by artists, fans and investors alike. We’re trying to build that future. And we’re calling it Tribe
From Bowie-Bonds to Smart Contracts
When talking to artists, most told us that financing is a huge problem. Even for musicians that are signed to a record label: usually they still have to finance their record on their own. they mostly do this by earning money from concert tickets, and increasingly from crowdfunding Tribe is going to reinvent the way musicians finance their records. The central innovation is in how crowdfunding works: Usually, it works like this: Supporters put money into a project and get „perks“ in return. These are usually merchandise, a mention in the credits section, or a meet and greet, depending on the size of your contribution. Tribe simplifies this: When you support an artist, you get a share. you get a share of the revenues of the future artwork of your favorite act. Investing in an upcoming artist is simply buying into something that isn’t fully fleshed out yet. So if you listen to a mixtape, and you really believe in the potential of the artist, you might not only want to give them the needed resources but also that psychological push, so not only financially, but sort of spiritually you buy into their dream. You’re part of the tribe, from day one. You put your trust in them. And not only does it pay the bills, much more important is your vote of confidence, from a real believer. In return you get a share of the future profits that work of art will make. Tribe introduces a whole new opportunity for artists and investors alike: For the first time, anyone can invest in and own a part of a work of art. And get rewarded when it performs financially successfully. This isn’t such a new idea: David Bowie sold the royalties to 25 of his albums as a “Bowie Bond” way back in 1997. It worked out for him and his investors: They got a decent return and Bowie got an investment of more than $50M. And now, Tribe is bringing it to everyone!