RockStar Motel enables fans to earn royalties


In the past decade, the music industry has experienced the probably most significant change compared to others within the entertainment industries as a result of technology growth.  Technology has done more than just enable the creation of tiny devices that can store mass amount of music, or allow music to be shared by millions all over the internet. It is the catalyst for fan attitude changes and the reason that they are no longer passive little listeners that allow big record labels to become bigger and more manipulative.

“The anger towards the record labels is well-deserved. They are the only industry I can think of that openly scorns, disrespects and tries to fleece their audience at every turn” (Brownstein, 2009). Many indie labels realize this and have built much success on their collaborative approach with both artists and fans. RockStar Motel is a new social music site that is taking another step towards fan collaboration, allowing fans to become their own record labels by promoting artists and earning recognition for it. When they promote artists they earn points for the music they help sell, and the more points they earn the more royalties (recognition) they get. This site isn’t limited to established artists either. Fans can help promote unrepresented bands as well.

It was released only this past Friday, but it is interesting to see how it will do. One of the concerns about this business model is how serious music fans will embrace this serious promotion, which is largely why they have turned to indie labels in the first place.  If it goes well, this could mean a huge change to how record labels are managed, and be another example of how the audience is refusing to behave like an audience.

~Stephanie Smith


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