Indie music fan funding platform Ampled to shut down

Music fan funding platform Ampled will shut down at the end of the year, the company’s Board announced in an open letter last week. More than 852 artists are currently using the platform.

Founded soon after the spectacular 2019 flameout of fan funding platform PledgeMusic which left hundreds of artists unpaid, Ampled offered Patreon-like features within an artist-owned and cooperatively controlled structure.

But those differences where apparently not enough to gain real traction.

“Over the past several months, we have exhausted all practical options to continue operations and ultimately determined that we do not have the resources or bandwidth to responsibly continue in a way that honors the Ampled values and community,” explained the letter. “For the last two years, we’ve faced a combination of challenges – primarily from burnout and a lack of resources to hire full-time workers.”

How Ampled Worked

  • Artists post unique/unreleased content – Demos, unreleased material, exclusive merch, announcements – and more.
  • Artists are directly supported by their community.
  • There are no tiers and one egalitarian price: $3 per month (or support what you want beyond that) – Artists receive predictable and recurring payments.
  • When an artist posts something new, their supporters receive a notification.

Ampled Could Live On

Ampled’s code became open source in August, and the hope is that someone will pick up where this team left off: “Anyone could build upon this experiment and create the next Ampled.”

“We plan to share lessons from this experience that can be a case study to help the future generations of collectively-owned web platforms scale and thrive,” the letter continued. “Included in this reflection will be things we could have done differently and calls for changes that will make building the next wave of cooperatives less challenging.”

Bruce Houghton is the Founder and Editor of Hypebot, a Senior Advisor at Bandsintown, President of the Skyline Artists Agency, and a Berklee College Of Music professor.

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