Sona.Stream, a new web3 streaming protocol co-founded by Jennifer Lee (Grammy-nominated producer and DJ TOKiMONSTA) and Laura Jaramillo, has just launched its streaming service that rewards fans for buying "digital twins" of songs. Unlike other streaming platforms, Sona Stream operates on blockchain technology and utilises decentralised finance (DeFi) principles to make the service artists-centric (or merely "human-centric," as the founders put it) with the rewards model, ad-free streaming, and auctions.
This is a new free music streaming platform that addresses the broken economics of streaming. We're building a fresh take on how music streaming should be — built by artists, for fans that want artists to earn more for their work, its website says.
Earlier today, Sona Stream was announced in its the beta launch, which is a free music streaming platform that empowers artists by giving them more control over their finances with new revenue streams and selling of digital assets, facilitated by the use of blockchain and DeFi.
There are two ways to earn on Sona [Stream]: you earn per stream based on the song’s pro-rata share of total streams, and by selling SONAs, which are one-of-a-kind digital twins of specific songs that split streaming rewards with their owners.
On Sona Stream, users can do pretty much everything they do on Spotify or Apple Music—listen to music, discover new songs, create playlists, and follow other users. The service has neither ads nor subscriptions but has a marketplace where artists share music and "auction off" digital twins of songs (called SONAs) that only one person at a time can own.
This is also a deeper way to support the artists you love by buying your favorite songs as SONAs and building a collection of your top tracks.
The exclusive owner of such a digital song twin gets 70% of the streaming payout rewards; artists, in turn, get a 30% share, and Sona Stream takes a 7% fee, which is then split into two buckets: 2% for the company and 5% to fund the streaming rewards pool. Such a high split for fans motivates them to invest in the musicians they love and promote their art, so when a fan shares the SONAs on social media, their followers visit the company's website, making the service grow.
Collectors can also sell digital twins of songs and trade them. But not anyone can become an owner of a track digital twin at this point: they must be at least 18 years of age and live in the US, but the team is working to bring the service to more countries. To use Sona Stream, however, users should be at least 13.
As reported by TechCrunch, Sona Stream plans to later introduce other monetisation capabilities that'll fund the rewards pool, including tipping, ticket purchases, merchandise, stem downloads, and fixed-price audio downloads for DJs.
We take a human-centric approach to music discovery. So rather than following the algorithm, you follow people. Our growing community of curators share their taste and curate the vibe, like de-facto crate diggers surfacing fresh tracks for your listening pleasure.
The service currently boasts a library of 12 million songs by 5,000 artists, among which Sara Hartman, CRi, Rochelle Jordan, Dakytl, Gavin Turek, and others.
Despite the struggles that even major streaming services like Spotify with its 17% workforce cut currently face, more platforms of this kind keep emerging. Earlier this year, another streaming service was laucnhed—Rokk that primarily focuses on metal and rock music and will be available to all in January 2024.