James Blake Helps Launch Direct-To-Fan Music Platform In Response To Abysmal Streaming Payments

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James Blake Helps Launch Direct-To-Fan Music Platform In Response To Abysmal Streaming Payments


Earlier this month, James Blake talked about the dire economics of the music industry and how streaming services don’t pay enough for artists to survive. Yesterday, Blake helped launch Vault, a direct-to-fan music platform where listeners can pay a fee to hear unreleased material from the artists that participate. Blake was approached by Vault after his social media posts about the industry went viral.

“About a week ago I went viral with a post about the effects of streaming and TikTok on artists’ ability to support themselves,” Blake said in a video that was posted on Twitter, going on to discuss the abysmal payments from streaming services.

“I wanted to find a way for musicians to make money directly from the music they make,” Blake continued. “Not least to be able to reinvest in the very expensive process of renting studios, hiring musicians, etc. Music is not cheap to make and I wanted to help incentivize musicians to actually spend more time making music.”

Blake is the first musician on the Vault platform, and his profile shows three demo recordings that are available for $5 a month. Vault is hardly the first platform that exists for artists to get money directly from fans. Patreon has been around for a decade and Bandcamp even longer; many artists utilize those in much the same way, and increasingly artists have started paid-tier Substacks to do the same sort of thing. Drip.fm, a music-focused subscription service, started in 2012 and closed in 2016.

“Vault is a place to share music more intimately before songs are out anywhere else (if at all, your choice), instantaneously and with the ability to communicate with your audience,” Blake continued in a series of tweets. “We can’t reach our own fans on DSPs. Why can’t we? Cause they own the data. With Vault, the artist owns the data. Subscription allows an artist to focus on making music not promoting and making tiktok’s every time i have a song i want to share w the world.”

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