Back in May, music subscription service Rdio began working on a plan to compensate artists for bringing new subscribers to their service, looking to dispel any notion that streaming services do not operate in the best interest of artists. It looks like the plan has turned now tuned into action. Starting today, the San Francisco-based music service will begin paying musicians $10 for every new user that they can convince to sign up for an Rdio plan through social media.
"This hits the compensation issue, but also fan engagement as well," said Rdio CEO Drew Larner. He believes this new bounty is a "win-win" for artists, the fans, and of course the company. Rdio users can stream unlimited number of songs from their mobile devices for $10/month and have a catalog of millions of tracks to choose from.
Subscription services paying artists based on something other than how often their music is played could possibly shift the perception of what a streaming service is to the wider music community. Of course, for this plan to work, the artists need to be on board. Likely to be more interested in participating will be the smaller artists and bands, which can view a “finder's fee” of $10 per subscriber as a relatively viable source of band revenue.
However, Rdio will definitely still need to attract larger artists due to their influence over larger tribes people, and it looks like they already have begun to do so. Several notable artists have already signed up for the plan including Snoop Lion, Scissor Sisters, A-Trak, Chromeo and Brendan Benson.