About 9 months ago I started working on this project that was no more than a simple idea with a broad goal: to help independent music artists. While the ways in which I plan(ned) to do this have changed consistently through the development of the project, the end goal has remained the same. So let me tell you what I want Panoplay to become, and why you should care.
There are millions of artists out there you’ve never even heard of. Millions of artists you will never hear of. Many of these artists are incredibly talented, but because you and your friends will never discover them, they will never able to show the world what they are truly capable of. To me, that’s unacceptable.
Music discovery takes a lot of effort! If you want to find anything other than the artists that are already popular, you have to know which off-the-beaten-path blogs and websites to go to. A lot of people simply don’t have time to do this. On the flip side, as an independent artist, it’s equally difficult to know where to invest your time and money to maximize your chances of being seen. If only there were a solution!
Next month, I will launch Panoplay. With Panoplay, I hope to spotlight over 120 independent artists per year. Here’s how:
A pack is essentially a mixtape – so a collection of music sold at a “pay-what-you-want” price. Ever used Humble Bundle or Bandcamp? Just like that. You as a fan can pay anything for 20-30 high-quality songs, with bonus downloads for those who pay more than the average paid so far. There will be 3 new packs per month, and packs will only be for sale for one month each. 80% of every purchase is split between the ~5 artists in the pack and 20% goes to Panoplay. What will Panoplay use that money for?
There’s nothing like going out for drinks with a couple of down-to-earth musicians like Zach and Christian from The Antique Hearts. We shot some pool, had a couple rounds at several bars, and partook in some serious discussion about everything from what their definition of success for their band is to their most embarrassing moment in an interview. How cool would it be to get to know every artist on a personal level? You don’t get that from iTunes, you don’t get that from Spotify, and you don’t even get that from whatever interviews you typically find online.
On top of artist interviews that will be posted on the blog weekly, I want to do an even more specialized artist spotlight, where once a month we sit down with an artist who may not be featured in a pack and find out everything. Ok, maybe not everything, but enough to write a biography about them. We will have a specific page dedicated to this band or artist for an entire month, where users can read the biography and purchase their music.
Why you make a difference
Investing your entire life in your music is so risky that many artists are forced to give up after years of hard work rather than continue on, simply because not enough people know about them for them to be able to support themselves with their music. Panoplay will give them the chance to reach a large audience and truly prove to the world that they’re worth listening to.
Here is where I need your help. Panoplay is pay-what-you-want. This means you can seriously pay whatever you want. So if you really want to pay nothing, that’s your prerogative. But even a few dollars to an independent musician is huge. If you like their music, you can show your friends, who can also pay a few dollars. They pass it on, and within an hour suddenly dozens of people know about these artists who didn’t before. Imagine in today’s world of viral marketing how fast a talented act could spread? In fact, don’t just imagine, be a part of it. Be the reason that band down the street will be playing the Super Bowl in 10 years. Be the reason that kid you knew from Chorus in grade school is now touring around the world. Be the reason that local band playing at bars goes on to create someone’s end of the world song.
Be the reason.