Last year, we launched Mixcloud SELECT as a new fan-to-creator subscription model for music lovers to directly support and get closer to the artists they really care about. It was built as a direct response to the many fundamental flaws in the music industry as we know it today, especially when it comes to money. If you want to earn a living from your craft, you’re up against the legacy systems that make it harder to sustain yourself economically, and we wanted to help change that. On top of that, you’ve got algorithms in the way of your online communities, middle-men who take a cut, and now with the uncertain future for live events that for many artists are relied upon as the primary income stream – it’s clear we must do more to help our creators.
SELECT works by offering fans the opportunity to financially back their favourite audio creators for a small sum (the price of a coffee) each month in return for exclusive content, extended shows and much more. Since launching, we’ve seen thousands of creators using SELECT in innovative ways and earning a recurring monthly income as a result. Whether you’re a producer starting out, a community radio station or an artist wanting to try a new audio format, the model can work for you.
We break down five killer ways to launch your SELECT channel and start earning more from your craft.
1. Produce an original track
- Novelist has always been one to innovate and his channel launch was no different. Producing a new beat Bezerk Riddim on the spot live on Instagram, he unlocked the stems exclusively to his supporters who then had 72 hours to submit a remix for the chance to be released with his new Novelist Selects Vol 1, 2 & 3.
- Or why not take a cue from KG who’s collaboration with Blasé Vanguard came about through an Instagram Live chat. Blasé sent KG some original vocals, which she then flipped the sample in a Mixcloud LIVE session to produce a brand new vocal edit. That new beat is now unlocked exclusively for her SELECT supporters.
2. Make your Mixcloud LIVE debut
- Dutch DJ Carista has been turning heads with her 3-hour Sunday sessions on Mixcloud LIVE offering a rare glimpse into her United Identities HQ in Utrecht and a weekly dose of musical respite during the height of lockdown. Each week, the live show recording is uploaded to her label’s Mixcloud channel for followers to listen back.
- The Spectacular Empire – brainchild of GAIKA and Akwasi Brenya-Mensa – launched their channel with Nine Nights on Mixcloud LIVE, a 9-event series created by artists Gaika, GLOR1A, Shannen SP, and Zara Truss featuring cherry-picked black artists around the world to celebrate black culture and commemorate those who have lost their lives to COVID and fighting for racial equality.
- Kuala Lumpur collective, record label and party starters SaturdaySelects are ones to watch, launching on SELECT with a weekly Mixcloud LIVE programme every Friday, Saturday and Sunday platforming under-represented DJs and artists in KL’s underground scene. DJ fees in KL can be low, with most local DJs playing long resident slots for not a lot of money, so through their channel they hope to bring about a shift in that ecosystem to raise the value of DJs and DJing and their local scene overall.
3. Launch a one-off competition
- We’ve seen a surge in creators combining a giveaway with their SELECT launch, with German producer Chris Liebing leading the way offering a Native Instruments “Maschine” to one of his first 100 subscribers, to compliment his AMFM shows and long lost CLR Podcasts newly released on his Mixcloud channel. The reaction was incredible.
- We saw Jayli get started on a similar tip, giving away a mammoth prize of a Pioneer RX2 Controller exclusively for those who support her. But, it doesn’t have to be hardware or gear – why not think about what you can offer whether it’s a collection of signed records, your own merch, or something personalised to incentivise your fans to subscribe.
4. Unlock exclusive archival content
Been thinking about releasing that archive of legendary sets that never saw the light of day? SELECT is a great way to unlock a whole host of exclusive or never heard before audio to give something special back to your most loyal fans.
- Earlier this year Warp Records’ Nightmares on Wax unlocked a mammoth archive of 500+ Ibiza Sonica Radio shows recorded over 10 years dropping exclusively for those who support him, kicking off with the Wax Da Box series — with his SELECT subscribers sky-rocketing in turn.
- Or why not take inspiration from Drum & Bass orginator Bailey who digitised and released some of his cassette tape archives for the first time ever, exclusively for his SELECT subscribers. One for the junglists!
5. Launch a new format or series
Now more than ever, we’re seeing producers and artists looking for different creative outlets and ways to connect with their fans. Have your fans been asking for that podcast series you’ve had in the works? Or what about that radio show that’s been bubbling up but you want to see what works? With SELECT you can offer an exclusive glimpse into your new project or format directly to those who care about you the most, like an intimate listening party or physical premiere.
- Shocka’s a great example of this, launching his new Impact of Numbers podcast as a series exploring the power of music – beyond the statistics and numbers – and dedicated to his biggest supporters.
- Check out Rotterdam producer Mucky who’s bringing a new edge to his productions with a ‘Behind the Tracks’ audio-commentary series dedicated to tracks you may not know he’s produced such as Sevdaliza’s Oh My God and Wiley’s Boasty.
- Or, perhaps you just want to launch that new mix series; Hanoi’s SYS Sister Sounds and their Doing It Pho The Girls series is a great example of keeping things simple while using their SELECT channel to empower and push the womxn they love in the creative and music industry.
Photo credit: Sanaa Abstrakt