AudioSwim crowdfunds rising MENA artists, financially rewards fans
You’re an up-and-rising singer/songwriter, look really cool in streaming videos of you singing, and dozens of fans can’t wait to see you perform. And you’re stuck. Your career as an artist seems to lose momentum and fame starts to look more elusive as each day goes by.
AudioSwim, a MENA-based blockchain-based digital music ecosystem offers an opportunity for promising people like you. AudioSwim provides digital services for the forward-thinking musician.
The company has an innovative music distribution formula that taps into the current NFT trends while giving artists and fans an interactive, community-driven platform to share their music.
And, says Albert Carter, founder and CEO, their technology will create new techniques for artists to make money.
“We help the artist with song distribution and allow fans to share in a monetization strategy where they create a steady stream of income as the artist crowdfunds his/her career selling royalty rights, and gains in popularity,” Carter explained to Economy Middle East, during an exclusive interview.
“The fans will be invested financially as well as emotionally when they believe in artists and their songs and both parties capitalize via NFT merchandising schemes and streaming royalty rights,” Carter added.
For independent artists who don’t have a record label financing them, AudioSwim allows that core engagement financially from their fans, who in essence now become business partners.
AudioSwim allows rising artists to crowdfund their music careers by selling a percentage of their streaming royalties.
For every stream, a Digital Service Provider (DSP) like Spotify, Angami, and others, attaches a royalty rate where the more times the song is streamed the more the artist makes.
“Let’s say you’re on Spotify and you get a million streams for which artists earn royalties. Whatever percentage of those royalties that fans buy, they get it back in percentage of that income, and the artist gets the rest. Investors can recoup their investment, make a profit, and generate resilient income if the song does well,” clarifies Carter.
Each country has its own royalty rate and this depends on the number of subscribers in that country, but traditionally royalties are paid on average oUS 0.003 cent per stream.
The ‘Big Song’
AudioSwim is not in the business of taking on and promoting every singer/songwriter, though the company will vet promising ones and assist them in the distribution of their songs on streamlining platforms.
“Our focus is how to create the “Big Song” like what we are doing with Rym’s ‘Dime Porque’ Remix. Rym is an up-and-coming Moroccan artist with a big song called Dime Porque and we collaborated with Mackie Entertainment to get established Afrobeat artist Skales on the remix. Skales is one of the larger artists from the Afro Beat community, and both are on the same song, streaming and doing fairly well,” said Carter.
The remix song features Skales as a Royalty-powered NFT and a standard streaming release. The Dime Porque remix release lets fans support the track by buying royalties. There will be just four royalty-equipped NFTs in total, with prices starting at 5 BNB exclusively on AudioSwim’s platform.
The company is betting that the summer-time Arabic/English track will be one of the first music NFTs released in the region and have crossover appeal thanks to Rym and Skales boasting over a million followers on YouTube and Spotify alone.
“We play the promoter for particular songs, not everyone, as the goal for the artist is to build their own fan base. We promote certain songs that we are financially invested in because we do have artists that we manage as well,” said Carter who is collaborating with Mackie Entertainment to manage Skales regionally.
“Our goal is to have volume and not to help every artist. Artists can build their fan base in multiple ways. They can create games. We have a live streaming function as well. Similar to Facebook Live or Instagram Live, we are able to do that on the platform to let artists talk to their core fans. They need at least 100 of them to give artists a chance at growing.”
Investing in sounds from the region
Why is AudioSwim working in the MENA when DSP subscribers in the west vastly outnumber those in the region?
“This region is on the cusp of a music talent upsurge. Just like Latin sounds are now booming, sounds coming out from say Egypt, Morocco, the GCC, and the African diaspora are unique and are resonating with fans and investors globally. We are looking for global investors to come into the MENA,” asserted Carter.
“We worked with an Egyptian musical artist named DJ Kaboo, who had a few songs placed on the TV series Moon Knight with a song called ENTA and Arab Trap: Made in Egypt, it boomed. It reached No. 50 on Shazam, and No.4 on TikTok. People were excited about the sound, but they didn’t know where it was coming from.”
AudioSwim distributes to over 150 DSPs and collects royalty rights from them, which it redistributes to intellectual property rights owners. The company as well tracks, via its own publishing company, any radio plays and collects these royalties on behalf of artists.
How to join AudioSwim?
Artists interested in showcasing their talent, DSP distribution, and getting funded can fill out a form at AudioSwim.com.
“The form allows us to vet the artist and see what their Instagram following and their background data is, and how well they have been streaming so far. The baseline metrics will be assessed on their last 3 releases,” said Carter.
“We advise brand new artists, going with their first song, not to opt for the royalty investment option, unless they are a well-known personality on TikTok, Instagram, and the like,” said Carter.
AudioSwim’s business model
AudioSwim has $120,000 invested into their venture and it’s a paltry sum if you consider the huge market they are tapping into, the funding solutions on offer to artists, and the promotional events geared to top emerging artists.
“We collect a 10% fee on NFT sales, distribution deals, and royalties. We as well charge a fee for advisory and consultation support to rising artists, but the fee varies depending on the artists and their needs which are highlighted on the form they fill out,” indicated Carter.
“We also do live events for booking artists and put on our own festivals like the Emirates Music Summit. We have one major funder and looking for more to join.”
NFTs on AudioSwim are a way for musicians to do some merchandising and branding and for their fans to trade them as their values go up, or simply to own a piece of memorabilia of their favorite artists.
“We can mint songs, paint, art, photography, books, short videos, lyrics, hidden features, private videos, personalized messages, limited edition singles, and more, and it’s all on the blockchain side of things,” explained Carter.
“A lot of artists are not yet sold on the blockchain, but we are. We do advisory on how to use blockchain and NFTs to help their overall career. The people who listen to artists’ music and buy their merchandise, that’s most likely to be an NFT purchase, and that’s the extra step artists need to see how in tune their base fan is.”
And the best part is: ‘Everybody makes money’. Sounds like a cool song.