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Spotify promises artists revenue through streams. However, a band needs 1.5 million (Spotify) streams each month to make a minimum wage. Beginning artists hardly benefit from streaming platforms, while they especially need an extra push. Volareo, a smart speaker, solves exactly that problem.
Nick Yap came up with this speaker, which you can control with speech and enables you to ‘tip’ artists. Yap is also one of the founders of Travis, the translation device that lets you speak sixty languages. He also devised ROCKI, a gadget that turns amplifiers and stereos into a wireless music system.
Applause for a tip
Yap: “Per Spotify stream, an artist earns about 0.72 eurocents. As a beginning artist, that is not enough to pay your rent. Volareo makes it possible for listeners to give a musician a ‘tip’. You support a musician with a donation, by pressing a button or by clapping your hands. This smart speaker ensures that artists actually benefit from the applause of their listeners.”
Cryptocurrency for musicians: Musicoin
The payments from artists and musicians are taken care of via the Blockchain, a digital and decentralized accounting system. The artists are being paid in Musicoin, a crypto coin, worth about ten cents. More than 2,500 artists have joined this blockchain initiative.
“The blockchain ensures that listeners can communicate directly and transparently with their favorite artists. Do not worry that it is complicated: the speech technology in the speaker makes it user-friendly”, says Yap.
Get to know your fans
Volareo does not only wants to ensure that lesser-known artists benefit from streaming services but solves another problem. The speaker also ensures that artists know who their listeners are. Yap: “This allows you to respond even better to the wishes of your fans, for example by planning a tour in a city where many listeners live. The fact that you, as a beginning artist, can get into contact with your fans more quickly, will hopefully contribute to making the music landscape even more diverse.”