CONJUNTO MUSIC has as a guiding principle the belief that artists should be fairly compensated so they may generate enough income through their artistic work to sustain themselves and their families. We believe in the when artists are properly compensated society at large benefits from their creativity and ingenuity.
The model seeks to combine the best features of cooperativism and collectivism, AND entrepreneurship, risk-taking, the free market, and innovation. The model also promotes diversity, independence, and localism vs. standardization, hegemony, and conglomeration. With that in mind, we offer the following components of the CONJUNTO MUSIC model:
Although this model can be expanded to cover all kinds of artists and creative people, the initial focus will be on artists who create original music. In order to qualify to become member of the collective each artist/group must be able to provide a minimum of 3 professionally-produced original music tracks in MP3 format, as well as a professional biography, and photo (logo, etc.).
The technology platform of the collective includes a dedicated website featuring the following functionality: subscription-based membership; online community; artists' directory. The revenue model is based on fans' subscriptions, MP3s, CDs, and merchandising sales, and advertisement.
Entrepreneur / Market Component
In order to address the eternal question/debate regarding proper recompense for outstanding talent, hard work, risk-taking, innovation, and uncommon creativity, and competition, this model also calls for the creation of "Individual Artists Channels" within the same online platform. This would give fans who are basic members the ability/option to subscribe to "channels" of their favorite artists (for an additional fee which will go to the artist). Artists could offer incentives to attract subscribers, including access to their entire music catalogue, enhanced music video, fan club, VIP benefits (discounts to shows), private discussion forums, etc.
Rejecting typical "extractive" and sometimes exploitative corporate models, this project embraces what's known as "Platform Cooperativism," a term coined by NYC New School professor Trebor Scholz. He argues that technology platforms can be deployed for the direct benefit of worker-owned cooperatives and collectives without having to go through (a corporate) middleman.
Although there could be advertising, branding, and marketing content on the website, strict privacy guidelines would be in place. For example, users' actions would not be tracked in order to design algorithms used to display content based on their behavior. In order to prevent co-option, the organization would not accept any type of donation or investment from corporations.
Market Competition & Growth
Artists love their fans and fans love them back! In every community there is a constant interaction between bands and music lovers. An easy-to-use technology platform and affordable membership options would make it easier for artist to make the case to their fans that it is worth it for them to sign up as members. As this musical ecosystem grows both, artists and fans will come to see the benefits: artists being able to make a living doing what they love, and fans enjoying increasingly diverse, high-quality artistic productions.
Eventually this model could compete head-to-head with the corporate (extractive) model as musicians compare their income under each one.