With new responsibilities in my lap as the recently named CMO of UL Sounds, we decided to dig into Arena.com to answer some questions we had about the new platform. So new, in fact, it’s still in Beta.
Our questions included:
- What is it?
- How does it work?
- How does Arena make money in order to pay out 21 cents (premium) and 1 cent (standard) per stream plus 85 cents per download.
For music consumers, Arena.com provides free music streaming as a service.That would be the Free Play half of their tag line Free Play. Fair Pay.
Using a Listen To Own model, tracks become unlocked for download after listeners stream them for a specific number of times. For instance, a fan streams a song 5 times (premium) or 100 times (standard); Arena then allows them to download the song as a file for personal use.
Musicians and Artists
For musicians and creative types, Arena provides 3 distinct ways to make money.
For free, you can upload songs for promotional purposes only. You do not earn any revenue from the streams. (The listeners receive your music advertisement-free unlike Spotify.)
For $50, you can upload your music and earn money from the streams. Payment breaks down like this:
- You can choose 2 songs as premiums. These earn 21 cents per stream and downloads are unlocked after 5 streams. You earn 0.85 for the download on top of the 21 cents per stream.
- All other songs will earn 1 cent per stream. Downloads are unlocked after 100 streams. You earn 0.85 cents per download on top of the 1 cent per stream.
- You can apply for an upgrade to Plus status which will allow you to earn 21 cents per stream on everything. You must provide an original album or EP that has never been released in order to apply.
Arena allows you to upload your designs for use on T-shirts. The Tees sell for $20, you earn $10.
3. Blog Articles
Arena also allows you to upload blog content to their website. For every 1,000 views on your article, they will pay you $1.
Should I use it?
Honestly, that’s up to you. For me, as an artist and songwriter, it currently does not make sense as I have other deals in place for distribution and publishing.
Considering the cost of using services like CD Baby or Tunecore, spending $50 to earn 21 cents per stream on 2 songs and 1 cent per stream on everything else is a pretty sweet deal. If you have enough people listening (repeatedly) and unlocking downloads, those little 0.85 boosts could add up over time.
Also, being able to sell T-shirts for $20 and earn $10 while not worrying about manufacturing or shipping is a really sweet deal compared to Zazzle or Cafepress. And being able to earn money on blog content is equally sweet but you will have to command enough traffic to generate 1,000 views per article (only for $1).
If you use Arena, leave a comment and let us know about your experience. We’d really like to open up a discussion about this new service.
For more info on music distribution services, check out our article Digital Distribution Services for Indie Musicians with Price Comparisons.