Amplify.ph is a music site featuring Filipino music across genres. But before you get all agitated and move on to another post cause you're not interested in the Phillipines, you should know that Amplify.ph is part of a new breed of international music services seeking to find ways to support artists while feeding fans of regional music in a manner that undermines piracy. Sure, we're talking Spotify levels of compensation but we're also talking about markets where piracy is often the primary form of music acquisition.
As we accumulate more research, the claim that making music abundantly available rather than scarce as the best way to combat piracy is gaining increasing credibility. But I don't want to get into the Piracy Research Wars. I just want to look at practical solutions being explored by musicians, labels and music tech companies with an affinity for musicians.
I've previously written about Yala Music which offers ad-supported streaming music on their site and via YouTube. However, in responding to the needs of listeners in regions that have inconsistent internet and mobile access (i.e. no streaming), they began offering free downloads of songs for viewing a video ad.
This approach monetizes the actual listening habits of humans rather than creating an ideal and bludgeoning humanity into compliance.
Keep in mind we're talking about markets where up to 99% of music downloads are said to be pirated. Three strikes? Try three billion+!
Amplify.ph - Talata Teaser Video (prior to launch of Amplify.ph)
In many ways, Amplify.ph is quite similar to Yala Music and I think both are worth watching. Mobile is gradually expanding the web to the whole world and that includes billions, some of whom have desktop access as well, that ain't every going to buy your cd, see you at a live show, buy your merch or pay for a download.
Amplify.ph offers ad-supported streaming and downloads featuring Filipino music. They feature both major and grassroots artists and they're ultimately trying to be the central spot for finding out more about Filipino artists, following the news and keeping up with tour dates.
But it's the ad-supported downloads that seem most relevant to Western artists who would like to monetize listeners who aren't reached by streaming services such as Spotify due to technical issues (i.e. spotty mobile/internet access).
Amplify.ph launched in June and they currently have over 500 songs from over 200 artists with plans to have over 2000 by year's end. They also have around 1000 users and 4000 downloads to date. They're working on a mobile app but right now they're desktop only.
So, between Yala Music and Amplify.ph, we have two examples exploring ad-supported downloads. Yala Music is much larger and more experienced. Amplify.ph is just getting started. Together they provide examples worth watching to understand how such downloads affect piracy and can support both artists and music services.
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.