Arena Music has announced that it will begin offering royalty payouts for music streamed through the Arena platform in Bitcoin worldwide starting in June. The company has been testing the digital currency in Phoenix and Atlanta over the last 6 months. In March, Bitcoin reached parity with gold for the first time since its inception. It’s been deemed the “most exciting monetary experiment in modern times.”
The company is an on-demand merchandising storefront that leverages a free streaming service to help artists monetize their content in an industry where consumers no longer buy music to own. By using the music as a loss leader, Arena helps artists and labels redirect consumer attention to exclusive merchandise offerings.
Offering payouts in the popular cryptocurrency highlights the company’s forward-thinking approach and alliance with independent content creators by offering them compensation with another form of capital or investment–one that can never be offered by any subscription-based streaming platform.
As the company is based in Phoenix, the first band to receive such a payout will be an independent punk band called Red Tank!, who released their third full-length album, “BIO/FEEDBACK” in collaboration with Arena Music in August of 2016. The band is known for their DIY ethos, energetic shows, and apocalyptic, dystopian, and existential lyricism.
When asked about the announcement, frontman Clipper Arnold remarked, “I think it’s an interesting, forward-thinking approach and it’s something we’re excited to be a part of. I think we share in the idea of pushing the imaginary of ways in which art can be created and can flourish outside of conventional approaches and infrastructure. I think this is a prime example of that paradigm in action.”
Arena Music founder and CEO Damon Evans adds, “Phoenix is seeing the impact of Arena Music payouts in Bitcoin. We’re watching our local music scene build the foundation for an entirely new way of releasing single tracks and full albums that pay each writer, producer and featured artist their shares of the $0.01 per stream Arena offers in Bitcoin. Now that we understand how essential this basic detail is in today’s music economy, we’re starting think that this level of transparency should accompany all royalty payment methods.”