Music distribution began with the record: 7, 10, or 12 inch vinyl disks which were physically inscribed with music and sold in record shops throughout the world. Then, in the 1970's, came digital audio. Compact Disks replaced the record to become an incredibly profitable alternative for keeping releases in stores, but with the invention of the MP3 and portable music players – the idea of physical distribution was shaken to its core.
The next logical step was, of course, digital distribution. There was already a thriving music piracy movement by the early 21st century and services such as Itunes and Beatport were quickly established in response. Such platforms faced a major problem though: how would record labels convince consumers to buy a digital song they could go find for free? Today, Skrillex's imprint, OWSLA, presented their answer – which may soon become the standard: monthly subscription with exclusive incentives through a new sub-label known as The Nest.
For $12 a month, Nest members will receive every OWSLA track 24 hours prior to release, early access to concert tickets, and a number of exclusives ranging from VIP edits and DJ sets to remix stems and sample packs. Basically, this distribution tactic provides ultimate insider access for any EDM fanatic. And best of all, the entirity of The Nest's goodies will be available via the cloud, so members can access them from any computer whenever the need strikes.
OWSLA is not the only label to set up a premium subscription service either. Fools Gold and Mad Decent have also established accounts on Drip.FM, the web software which runs The Nest, and more labels are expected to join in the near future. Do you think monthly subscription is a revoltionary advancement for music? Or just a clever way to pad the bank accounts of record executives?
To sign up for The Nest and learn more about what a subscription buys you, head over to their Drip.FM page.