So first there's the problem we see.
Everything in this business starts with musicians, but with all the money around music they're often the last to see any. Most of the artists we know are working so hard just to keep their heads above water.
The whole Internet thing was supposed to make things egalitarian, but it hasn't. It's mostly startups with big money and major labels making weird deals and everyone else working extra hard to just stay afloat.
Entire companies are being built around the idea that if they can finally make the Internet work for musicians then they can get rich. Some are making things better. Some are making things worse. But they're all doing it backed by millions of dollars on the promise that they'll deliver billions later — and in their world it's consumers (fans) and content (music, more specifically music copyrights.)
So we've built a lot of tools that actual, working musicians need and can use - we know because we're building them directly with artists and labels. Also, what we're doing is different because we're building it in the open where it's all totally free and doing it as a Nonprofit so someone else can't just buy it all up.
What we're building:
We're building a totally free platform of tools for artists and labels to sell, share, and promote music directly to their fans. It's something we've been working on for a long time because we feel it's vital that all musicians have access to basic web tools that are free, open, and theirs to own.
We've already released installable tools that can be used to set up social integration, tour listings, email collection, and more. We're in the process of adding more features including commerce and streaming. This development will continue, and with a recently successful Kickstarter campaign we're building a hosted version — a nonprofit-run site that would allow access to all these things with zero setup, still free and open-source, but without the need to download and install anything to your server.
The Internet should help artists, not get in their way. But we need an open and nonprofit solution or ultimately all of the best services will just get bought up by someone with ambiguous intentions.
Who we are
We're a small staff led by Maggie Vail and Jesse von Doom with key contributors like Jonathan "Duke" Leto and help from organizations like Mozilla's WebFWD. We work directly with musicians and labels to help design the tools we build, always under the guidance of our board:
...and generally with some mix of small children and dogs in tow.
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