Streaming is all the rage. And likely the future of music distribution. But with streaming services paying from $0.0001 to $0.0004 per stream on a good day, how do you make money?
Some simple math: 10,000 streams a month equates to $1.00 to $4.00 for your song plays if you own 100% of both the publishing and songwriting!
Well, don’t be. There’s an online streaming service that’s approaching things a bit differently. Their core mission is to provide a sustainable income for artists. You’ve got to like a service that’s trying to help!
OutboundMusic.com partners directly with creators and performers of music to make sure more money goes to them. Translation: on average, your 10,000 streams could go from $4.00 to $400!
With that kind of model, we had to sit down with Courtney Delaney, founder of OutboundMusic.com, and find out more.
SongChops: Can you give us a brief overview of how OutboundMusic works?
Courtney Delaney: The OutboundMusic website is set up as a music-discovery platform.
The site’s purpose is to get great music out there, to the public and generate revenue for the creators at a significantly higher rate than traditional streaming services. We do this by partnering directly with the artist.
There is so much amazing music in the world just waiting to be discovered.
For me, music is part of my family’s history. How did you get into the music business?
I’ve always loved music. I wrote my first song when I was 13 and I’ve been doing it ever since.
During my teens and early twenties, I did a little performing with my current business partner and life-long friend, Kathy Gordon. We had a little duo that played around town. Writing is my creative passion.
A lot of times new business models are created in response to an issue or poor experience. Did something lead you to this type of model for artists/musicians?
Back in the 90’s, I was part of a national songwriting organization that no longer exists. At that time, they needed a leader for their Houston Chapter, and I volunteered.
In that role, I brought in speakers each quarter to talk to the writers about the music business. Entertainment attorneys, record label execs and more spoke to our group. Turns out, the more I learned about the business, the more appalled I became.
To me, things didn’t seem equitable for songwriters and artists. I perceived a lot of greed and self-serving and little concern for the creators, the creative process and the products of that process.
I felt led to do the music business differently.
For someone selling and distributing their original music, what makes OutboundMusic different from other online streaming and distribution services?
From an artist standpoint, OutboundMusic is different from other streaming platforms in many ways.
The major difference is that we do not adhere to the traditional broadcast model. We do not license with the performing rights organizations (BMI, ASCAP, SESAC) or SoundExchange.
Instead we share 85% of our advertising revenue with the owners of the music.
Wow – that’s a significant change in who the money goes to if you look at traditional payouts from streaming services.
Yes. Our model is currently producing a rate per listen greater than artists/songwriters are getting from other streaming services.
There is potential for a great return as our audience grows. The model is working.
We also license music out to other online radio stations and services.
These stations and services pay us a monthly fee and send us monthly reports of detailed song plays and listens. Again, 85% of the licensing fee is shared with the owners of the songs reported.
We differ as a distributor, also, in that our partners can sell digital music and physical products.
So an artist could use your platform to set up their merchandise store as well?
Absolutely. The sales are not limited to physical CDs. Our partners can sell t-shirts and other such items.
And like our ad-revenue share, the artist gets 85% of the retail price for all sales.
They set the price. We cover the bank fees!
How many musicians/artists do you have on the platform? Genres? Listeners?
Today we have 1,059 artists/songwriters, and the number is quickly growing. We seek music from all genres, and as we get enough music of any genre, we launch a radio station.
Based on our analytics, we have around 24,000-25,000 loyal radio listeners.
That’s a big number of listeners! Sounds like you’re growing. What are your plans for the future of OutboundMusic?
One big plan we have for the future is a worldwide booking service.
My husband is working on the development of that. We hope to someday set up tours for our performing artist partners. We are aiming to grow to at least 5,000 actively performing artist partners.
And, we plan to continue doing what we are doing with the intent of getting better and better with time. We still have a lot of website programming improvements in the works, and we have not yet launched a major marketing campaign. We hope to do a big marketing campaign this year.
A key part of the business model is advertising based on music consumers/listeners coming to the site. How is the music listener experience different for music consumers?
Our platform is different in many ways as well.
It’s free to the listener, the music is filtered for quality, we broadcast worldwide and listeners can skip as many songs as they wish on the on-demand stations.
Your model sounds like a great solution for independent artists. You also look for additional opportunities for the artists on OutboundMusic don’t you?
Yes. Another thing that makes us different is our relationship with our artist and company partners.
We keep the line of communication open, we really enjoy getting to know the owners of the music we broadcast.
With the huge pool of great music on our platform, we’ve been called upon by producers and agents to find songs for specific artists to record.
Our A&R director, Kathy Gordon, has a truly amazing gift for identifying the right songs for such opportunities. That makes the producers and agents keep coming back to us for songs. We are able to contact the song owners and negotiate arrangements to place their songs.
We’ve successfully pitched quite a few songs to date. We’ve also begun pitching to film and TV opportunities.
As a user of the service (a listener and artist), I love the platform. How can artists/musicians become a member and start sharing and monetizing their music?
It’s easy to apply for partnership.
Just visit OutboundMusic.com, and select the appropriate “Join As”.
We work with individual artists partners, and individual songwriters (for these, select “join as artist”).
We also work with record labels, promotion companies, publishing companies and more. These should select “join as company”.
In the short application, you’ll be asked to list some web addresses where we can hear your music, and you’ll be asked to upload at least one song.
There is a one-time $10 fee for the application.
Our A&R team members carefully review your music. They make their decision within one week. You’ll be notified by email. Once accepted, you’ll be able to login, upload all the music you’d like and set up your profile.
Thanks so much for talking to us today Courtney! Any parting words for independent artists and songwriters out there?
I can’t stress how much I love working with such talented partners and how committed we are to the success of our partners.