James Blake finds “solution” to streaming, shares unheard tracks on new platform Vault

James Blake has reportedly found a “solution” to streaming, and has dropped previously unheard tracks on a new platform called Vault.

READ MORE: Artists on the challenges of 2023 and hopes for 2024: “I just want to see us getting paid for selling records”

The announcement from the musician comes after he went viral recently for a series of posts, criticising the lack of royalties artists can make by streaming their music or sharing it on TikTok. Following the posts online, Blake began teasing that he had found a “solution” to the issue.

Now, he has revealed that this is through a newly launched platform called Vault, which allows fans to pay a monthly fee to receive unreleased music from an artist. The goal, he explains, is to allow musicians to share as much music as they like, without being restricted.

“About a week ago I went viral with a post about the effects of streaming and TikTok on artists’ ability to support themselves and I wanted to give you some figures. This is how much artists make out of streaming: Between $0.003 and $0.005 per stream, depending on the platform,” he said in a new video uploaded to X/Twitter.

“Which is one million plays equals $3,000, and if you’re assigned to a label, then imagine that number’s cut by at least 50 per cent. And after management cut – which is between 15 and 20 per cent – and taxes and recording overheads, it’s just not sustainable for an artist to focus on just their art.”

He continued: “Only 19 per cent of artists on Spotify have more than 1,000 monthly listeners. And TikTok pays artists so little that Universal just took their whole catalogue off it. I’ve been wondering, how do we sort this shit out?”

Ok, so for the first time I’m going to be releasing from my vault of unreleased music

We are launching @vaultdotfm to show music has inherent value beyond just exposure

Subscribe to unlock pic.twitter.com/pIic7Ef47G

— James Blake (@jamesblake) March 20, 2024

“I wanted to find a way for musicians to make money directly from the music they make … Music is not cheap to make, and I wanted to help incentivise musicians to actually spend more time making music. Also, I’ve spoken to a lot of artists that feel frustrated that so much great music goes unreleased because it doesn’t meet certain requirements or trends.”

As part of Vault’s launch, Blake has offered fans access to his unreleased music for $5 per month, and has revealed that the platform will be where he first shares information about tickets, releases and other new announcements. More features are set to be added at a later date.

At time of writing, the musician has shared three new songs on the platform: ‘We Culture Ref1’, ‘The Man Who Talks Too Much’ and ‘Olivia Kept’. Find out more about Vault on the official website.

James Blake performs at Alexandra Palace on September 28, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Jack Hall/Getty Images)

“So this is kind of a backstage pass of the process. It’s where you’ll hear first about ticket drops and anything else I’m doing. This thing was built fairly quickly after my outbursts on social media, so we’ll be adding features as we go along,” Blake concluded in the video.

“The concept of subscribing to an artist directly, I think, can change the game and release artists from the relentless merry-go-round of the current state of things … This is hopefully a great step towards allowing artists to be as authentic as possible whilst still making a living.”

The criticism from Blake earlier this year came after Spotify confirmed that all songs on the platform must have a minimum of 1,000 streams before they can earn any royalties.

In January, it was confirmed in a new study that roughly a quarter of music on streaming services didn’t get played at all in 2023, and only 10 songs from the year had accumulated over a billion streams.

Since then, Kanye West and Ty Dolla $ign‘s track ‘Good (Don’t Die)’ has been removed from Spotify, and the former hinted that his upcoming album with Dolla $ign – ‘Vultures 2’ – may not be shared on any streaming service.

The post James Blake finds “solution” to streaming, shares unheard tracks on new platform Vault appeared first on NME.

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