New Idea: "Artist Support Button"

Speaking on a panel at the Future of Music Summit in Washington D.C. earlier this week, I was surprised at the ambivalence (at best!) of musicians towards Internet radio and the opportunities it offers them to build their fan bases and advance their careers.

After all, if you're a bluegrass artist in St. Louis or a cabaret singer in San Diego or a folk-rock act in Boston, which form of radio is going to offer the most opportunities to you -- AM/FM radio, satellite radio, or Internet radio? Obviously, I think, the latter. AM/FM and satellite radio will almost certainly give you no airplay at this point in your career (or, actually, for those first two genres, ever), whereas if Pandora includes your CD into their Music Genome Project, you'll get airplay when their listeners are listening to a station based on an artist whose music has similar characteristics to your music, AccuRadio would be happy to give you airplay on our various region-specific and genre-specific channels, and if Bill Goldsmith at Radio Paradise likes your work he might give you a great backsell after he plays your work.

But I believe there are opportunities for Internet radio to give even MORE support to developing artists than we do today (or than AM/FM or satellite radio ever will).

For example, it might benefit all parties involved if airplay for music from developing acts could be geo-targeted to the regions in which those acts are operating: If there's a bluegrass band like, say, Henhouse Prowlers that only tours in the Midwest, perhaps Internet radio stations should focus airplay of their tracks to listeners in the Midwest. (For East Coast listeners, that same slot in the hour could be given to a bluegrass brand that tours up and down the East Coast. And so forth; you get the principle.)

However, here's my idea of the day:

How about offering an "Artist Support Button" on our media players? As I envision it, this might be a 100x100-pixel button that resides near our "Play," "Pause," and "Skip" buttons or adjacent to the artist name in the "Now playing" section of our media player. (This could of course vary by webcaster.) Based on the desires of the artist being played at the moment, it could say either "Visit my website" or "Like me on Facebook" or "Catch me on tour" or "Buy this CD" or "Join my e-mail list" or "Tip the artist" and would link to the appropriate destination (And I'm envisioning that the button could be changed regularly -- e.g., "Catch me on tour" only when the artist is actually on tour.)

At the Future of Music Summit, musician Ben Weinman of the Dillinger Escape Plan said that the average fan of his band spends $100/year (including spending on concert tickets, CDs, vinyl, commemorative t-shirts for each song (!), house concerts, etc.). If we could help bands like his add new fans, the revenue potential for them could HUGE -- and it would be a win/win for everyone.

What do you think? (Have I got the germ of a good idea here?)

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How do I cancel my support to a creator?

Right now I support two creators and I wish to stop supporting one of them. But I can't find any un-support button, and I can't change my monthly support to less than $1 in my support settings.

Can any one help me?
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I've been throwing this same idea at everyone I know who is interested in music.
Basically my idea was to have a kind of micropayment button next to an artists page, one that would give a nickel or so to the artist every time you tap it. Then at the end of the month all of your "donations" are tallied up and auto-billed along with your subscription fee.
I could easily see myself listening to a song and just thinking "Man, what a cool fucking riff" and just tapping a button real quick to show my appreciation to the artist
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i just wanted to donate some money to an artist who`s albums i like but i didn`t find the "support this artist" button on any of his albums pages.
is that by mistake or on purpose because some artists don´t want this maybe ?
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This is fantastic and I've already got it turned on!
My only feedback would be to have the "Ok" button initate a PM rather than a whisper. I lose those things all the time. :p
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