Mad Genius Radio Seeks To Improve Freemium Streaming Model
May 11, 2015 at 1:08 PM (PT)
MAD GENIUS RADIO CEO and founder ERIC NEUMANN is presenting a new kind of streaming music service, according to a report in DIGITALTRENDS.COM.
NEUMANN insists, if music streamers paid just $5-10 per month instead of listening for free, royalties paid to artists could climb a lot higher. He built MAD GENIUS RADIO with a new kind of user feedback algorithm and created the FAIR TRADE MUSIC INITIATIVE, a new system that rewards artists directly for ushering fans toward the site.
“It’s really about saying that art has value,” NEUMANN said. “And advertising, mathematically, can’t make up for music sales.”
Coming from a terrestrial radio background, NEUMANN's Mad Genius Radio employs a five-point rating scale and the ability to mix different genres together on a sliding scale.
The five-point system allows users to rate both songs and artists like a product on AMAZON. MAD GENIUS also lets users create up to five different preset stations, with up to seven genres per preset, allowing listeners to grade each genre on a 10-point scale to decide how often each particular musical flavor pops up.
MAD GENIUS exchanges some of the hot hits and brand-name bands for more variety.
MAD GENIUS was free in its beta form, but now the site is evolving into a subscription-only model, priced at $5 a month for ad-free listening.
To help get artists and listeners on board, NEUMANN launched the FAIR TRADE MUSIC INITIATIVE, encouraging artists to steer fans to MAD GENIUS TRADIO for a free, 30-day trial. For every referral that results in a trial, the artist gets paid $2, and thanks to promo code tracking, the artist also gets $.25 per user, per month, figures which don’t include royalties paid out from SOUND EXCHANGE.
“There’s a good value proposition for music out there, and there’s no reason not to share a little more with artists, and with copyright holders,” explained NEUMANN. “(Music) is art, it’s no different than a piece of art hanging in a gallery.
“I think it’s devalued music and made people think about it the wrong way. This is really art creation. I would guess that people probably spend more time with music than any other art form….We’re just trying to do our part to fix one piece of the equation.”
“All subscription services pay higher (royalties),” says Neumann, “a lot higher.”
NEUMANN claims that, if everyone paid in, streaming services could raise their annual revenue by 500% over time, which would add up to higher royalties for artists, songwriter, and labels alike. While Internet radio sites like MAD GENIUS offer less control over playlists, at $5/month, they also run half the price of premium, on-demand subscription services like SPOTIFY, TIDAL and DEEZER.
“If people … can understand that royalties are paid to artists, then I think some fans will start to go, ‘Yeah, that’s the price of a latte, no big deal. And in fact, I’m sick of commercials anyway," concluded NEUMANN. The difference is, he's doing something about it.