Streaming service Marine Snow moves to artist equity membership model

The move means that artists who are members of the subscription model will earn more as Marine Snow grows as a company.

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Streaming service Marine Snow is set to launch a new artist equity membership model which will pay artists both cash and equity.

The move is hoped to level up how artists are treated by streaming services, ensuring they get paid more as the streaming service continues to grow.

Marine Snow is a streaming service founded by ex-Spotify music strategy and operations employee Tony Lashley. The organisation hit the headlines a year ago after announcing that it will pay artists equal to 500,00 Spotify streams upfront, with Lashley stating that “a song’s value should not be based on the number of plays it gets”.

The platform itself works on the basis of having sole streaming rights on a song for 90 days. This allows Marine Snow to pay artists more than other streaming services that pay artists depending on the number of streams.

In a new announcement, Lashley is taking this one step further, which is to pioneer a new model of subscription-as-investment – where all members pay a subscription, and if they choose to pay more, they’ll have more ownership of the platform. This in turn means that they have more to gain financially as the platform grows.

That ownership also allows them say in the curatorial governance of new songs acquired for the platform. Marine Snow state that this will empower the artists to help find “important music” for the platform.

“If you are a startup or tech in employee in 2023, you get paid a guaranteed cash amount with a bonus of equity in what you’re building. Why should music streaming be any different?” says Lashley in a statement.

“The major labels received ownership in Spotify early in its history, and never distributed the massive gains from the sale of this ownership to artists after Spotify’s IPO,” he continues. “We think it’s more sustainable to give the artists we work with ownership directly rather than a corporate intermediary”.

The new model is hoped to debut in the new year.

For more information, you can visit Marine Snow.


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