Subscribers pay about $10 a month for most streaming services — with that kind of cash, shouldn’t musicians be making more from these platforms? For their short history, music streaming services have operated by putting all of their subscription revenue into one big pool. The pool is then divided by the total number of plays — this is called the pro rata method. Some people believe that this system is ripping customers off. Why shouldn’t your money go directly to the artists you’re listening to rather than into the big pool? Today on The Future of What, we talk to two of the people championing a new way of streaming called subscriber share, Sharky Laguana and Dick Huey. We also talk with Tim Quirk, formerly of Google Play, who argues against subscriber share.
For the 15th annual Future of Music Summit, we headed to Washington DC for a special taping of The Future What. Portia talked with musician and innovator Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs about her creative process, puppeteering past and more. Then we sat down with Tim Quirk, founder of Freeform Development Inc. and former Google Play exec.