D.I.Y.

Sofar Sounds Improves Artist Platform, Payment Structure

[UPDATED] Sofar Sounds has made major upgrades to its artist platform including a new dashboard, improved payment levels, a new tool to request bookings, and more ways to connect with other Sofar artists.

Sofar had come under fire for sometimes paying the three artists on their shows as little as $100 each for house concerts and other intimate shows that often grossed many times that.

Under the new leadership The Echo Nest founder Jim Lucchese, Sofar has pledged to do better and this week’s announcements are part of the service’s ongoing rehabilitation.

New Compensation Levels

Currently, in ticketed cities, all performers at standard shows (three acts, 20-25 minute sets) are guaranteed a flat rate of $100 in the US, £75 in the UK, $100 CAD in Canada and 100€ in Spain. 

As of February 18, 2020, most ticketed cities will have three payment levels, where the total payment for each artist is based on the number of tickets sold for the show.

Sofar’s New Payment Structure

A full list of new Sofar features:

  • A Sofar artist dashboard: A lot of artists have asked for a better way to manage their profiles, see show booking requests and access event details. We’ve rolled out the beginnings of a brand new artist dashboard to do all that, with lots more to come soon. We’re testing the beta version with a small group of artists now, and it will be available to everyone in March.
  • Improved booking tool: Last year, 2,000 artists did tours with Sofar. In the new artist dashboard, we’re working to make it easier to book tour dates, whether that means filling in an open Monday night, using Sofar to promote another gig or setting up an entire tour of Sofar shows.
  • Connecting with other artists: So many artists have told us how important it is for them to meet the other performers at Sofar shows, and have shared incredible stories about what these connections have led to. With the 10,000 shows we put on every year, those collaborations are already happening every night, all over the world. In the new artist dashboard, they’ll be able to find other Sofar artists in their city, and see the artists they’ve played with at past Sofar shows to help them stay in touch.
  • Turning more listeners into fans: We’ve added a custom ‘Support this artist’ button in the email sent to audience members after the show. This allows artists to include an additional link so that they have the freedom to direct fans to wherever they feel supports them best. That could be buying their merch, supporting them on Patreon or Bandcamp, or virtually anything else.
  • Resources for new artists: There’s now an improved artist-focused section on our website with helpful information about Sofar and how to get the most out of shows. 
  • Increased artist compensation: As we shared in December, Sofar’s goal is to move toward an average net profit split of 70/30 in favor of the artist for standard shows in ticketed cities. To that end, starting today, we’ll begin rolling out three payment levels for shows with higher ticket sales. We estimate this increase will impact around 50% of artists, and we’ll keep evaluating our progress throughout the year. Read more about the details here.
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