Drip FM: A Music Subscription Service That Could Be a Game-Changer

From Spin Magazine:

A steady diet of carefully curated downloads (and more)

Last fall, when Ghostly International’s Sam Valenti IV and Miguel Senquiz were in Berlin, we met up for beers and a little shop talk. They wanted to pick my brain, they said, about a new music platform they were developing. They wanted to know what I’d hope for from a label-based subscription service — a service where, for a monthly fee, I could get every new release from my favorite imprints, along with selected archive releases and other goodies. We talked about brand loyalty and back catalogs, record stores and online access and Sub Pop’s Singles Club; we talked a lot about creating a culture where paying for music is valorized (by the fans) and, just as importantly, rewarded (by the labels).

Now, their back-of-the-napkin sketch is a reality. It’s called Drip FM, and so far it’s signed up Stones Throw, Mad Decent and Dirtybird as participating labels, along with anchor tenant Ghostly. This week, they announced Carl Craig’s Planet E as the latest addition to the Drip.FM family.

The standard offering goes something like this: For a monthly fee, usually between $10 and $15, users get access to each new Drip FM release from the label they’ve subscribed to. Those might be new releases, back-catalog titles, DJ mixes, or other exclusives. All are available as 320 kbps MP3s — that’s DJ quality — with no DRM restrictions. (Some labels additionally offer WAV downloads.) Subscriptions are accepted from anywhere in the world — a boon for listeners living in countries where they’re beset by territory restrictions. There’s also a sort of signing bonus, as new members receive a given label’s last three releases upon joining. New subscribers to Planet E, for example, receive two recent singles — Kirk Degiorgio’s “The Golden Aspect” and Paperclip People’s “Throw (Slam’s RTM Remix)” — along with 2011’s 25-track compilation, 20 Fucking Years of Planet E: We Ain’t Dead Yet.

Conitnue reading the rest of the story on Spin Magazine