Stem is Committing to an Artist-First, Team-Oriented Future

To get there, we’re launching Stem Direct, a concierge member service, and evolving our fee structure in order to super-serve our clients.

As we enter our fifth year at Stem, we are focused on the future of the music business — specifically, what members of the independent community will need over the next five to ten years to build their businesses. Here’s what we see as the three biggest opportunities for Stem to tackle:

  • Refining our service offering for our top performing artists (while still supporting our developing artists)
  • Expanding our platform to suit independent labels and all of their clients
  • Building new financial tools for artists and the businesses that surround them

With that, we are excited to launch Stem Direct, a concierge member service to support our top talent. Moving forward, all artists and their teams that use Stem will have a dedicated account representative who they can call, text or email. The account representative will offer strategic playlisting advice, support pitching new content to streaming services, provide in-depth quarterly business reviews, surface data-informed recommendations and suggest proactive next steps, and share access to new features.

As Stem evolves to super-serve our clients, we will adjust the Stem fee from 5% to 10% for all new users as of July 1, 2019. Current users will continue to pay 5% on existing content distributed by Stem and a discounted rate of 8% for new releases. This fee update is the result of in-depth research of the marketplace, as well as direct conversations with artists and managers to understand their needs and willingness to pay. We found the distribution and payments marketplace was crowded either with transactional distribution companies set up to serve volume (and therefore provide minimal support), or with high-touch label services that charge considerably higher fees with contractual obligations. With our new fee structure, Stem Direct aims to fill the value gap in the market by providing a fair offering with flexible terms.

For creators who don’t qualify for Stem Direct, we have integrated with TuneCore to help ensure a seamless transition to a new service. TuneCore has set up dedicated teams for incoming users. Our shared goals are to support an easy transition of any relevant catalog and preserve stream counts and playlisting, and the process will make the change as simple as possible for these users. For those not interested in using TuneCore, we have built a takedown button to make it easy to transfer content to any provider of their choice.  We’ve set up a special page to address any questions from artists who need to move their music here

We launched Stem with a mission to create a truly artist-first platform that provides all creative collaborators visibility into their businesses, and we delivered on that with important features like the industry’s first consensus-based splits, an easy-to-read dashboard, and automated payments technology. We at Stem have spent the past four years innovating in the distribution space, experimenting with several offerings for various types of individual creators.

This more specific focus with Stem Direct will allow us to hone in on a few, key archetypes of independent artists so we can maintain a dynamic feedback loop and build tools for the industry with the artist in mind. This group has a unique set of priorities, and we’re focused on building tools to serve them better.

In this next phase, we look forward to supporting team-oriented artists in ways that will continue to raise the bar for what it means to be a good partner in the music distribution and payments world. Across the board, we very much believe this change will rise the tides and lift all boats — ultimately benefiting creators everywhere.

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