Pulselocker launched last year as a subscription streaming service for DJs allowing them to download music to their computer more economically than the dominant pay-per-track model. Earlier this month they launched a web-based version combining on and offline access with special touches designed for pro and semi-pro DJs.
"For DJs, what makes the service interesting – and unique – is that unlike other subscription music on demand offerings, users can actually take the songs they 'rent' and save into a special Pulselocker folder on their computer. From here, those tracks can be played with specific, whitelisted DJ’ing applications, like Traktor and Serato."
The service now includes unlimited streaming with pricing "based on how many tracks a DJ wants to save for offline playback, starting at $9.99/month for 25 tracks up to $59.99/month for 1,000."
Rights holders are paid in multiple ways as the founders note:
"As a company founded by artists, our goal was to create a business that gave DJs the freedom to access all the music they could, while keeping the artists’ interest top-of-mind. That’s why we developed our triple monetization strategy, which pays an escalating royalty each time a track is streamed, downloaded into the Locker and DJ’d for more than 90 seconds and purchased outright. While we won’t solve piracy, we’re focused on building a model that puts more money back into the artists’ pocket. "
DJ Pangburn explores some of the more interesting nuances of the system, such as the designation of micro-genres:
"Until 50 people use the same genre in a playlist, it won't become available on Pulselocker. While this will probably introduce some sanity into the micro-genre absurdity, it might not sit well with DJs trying to create their own movement. That decision, however, wouldn't rest with Pulselocker brass, but with its user base. If 50 users cannot be swayed, then so be it."
Perhaps micro-genres aren't the biggest issue around but it's another example of how the Pulselocker team are bringing their creativity to every level of a product designed especially for DJs.
Apparently deals are in the works with majors but, for now, Pulselocker is an indie-focused service.
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.