Beyonce minted millions on iTunes and dealt streaming one of its biggest blows to date. But she’s not the only artist side-stepping Spotify: just recently, deadmau5 ‘windowed’ Spotify while maximizing the first-run revenue from album downloads. But this one might take the cake: instead of choosing whether to give his music to an existing streaming service, deadmau5 (aka Joel Zimmerman) is building his own and charging for it. And most importantly, he’s flooding the platform with exclusives that are only available to paying subscribers.
Which means, deadmau5 controls the costs, controls his distribution, collects 100% of the payouts, and erases all the funny business that happens between streaming service, label, and artist.
The roll-your-own subscription service isn’t the first of its kind: a smattering of artists and labels have created their own dedicated subscription environments over the years, with limited success. This time around, live.deadmau5.com is coming from one of the biggest artists on the planet, from one of the most sought-after (and lucrative genres), and to a more streaming-friendly fan environment. And it’s happening right before a string of post-Christmas tour dates, which offers the perfect opportunity to the promote his shiny new platform.
Here’s how it works: anyone can register and jump in, but the perks are extremely limited for free users. The free experience includes thirty-second clips, photos, videos, and a small number of live streams, and that’s about it.
The rest is for the crowd that pays $4.99 a month (or $44.99 a year) gets the full suite of exclusive tracks, with downloads also part of the package.
And the majority of streams (and downloads) are only available to paying subscribers. Subscribers also include live tutorials from deadmau5 himself, live events and concerts, and participate in message boards and chats. On occasion, Zimmerman will chat directly with a few lucky superfans.
The platform currently includes Mac and PC apps, with iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile apps coming in March of 2014. Upfront was responsible for building the backend.