James Blake Will Directly Share His Unreleased Music To Fans For $5 USD Per Month

The English musician is the first to join Vault.fm, a paid streaming service that allows artists to directly share music with fans.

Music
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James Blake is officially the first artist to join the newly-launched streaming platform Vault.fm — a move that arrives shortly after he shared his criticism of the music industry and how it pays its artists.

Announcing the news on social media, the English musician revealed that for a $5 USD per month subscription, fans will have access to his music that he has not officially released on other streaming services. “It’s music direct from me to you, where no one can gatekeep what I release or delay my releases,” Blake explained in a video. “For context, I’ve had to wait sometimes six months to be given the green light to release music. This cuts the middleman out completely. I’m gonna be able to drop way more music than I’ve ever been able to before.”

He also educated fans on the reality of artists’ streaming payouts, “This is how much artists make out of streaming: Between $0.003 USD and $0.005 USD per stream depending on that platform, which is one million plays equals $3,000 USD.” Blake continued, “If you’re signed to a label, then imagine that numbers cut at least 50 percent. And after management cut, which is between 15 to 20 percent, and taxes and recording overheads, it’s just not sustainable for an artist to focus just on their art.”

“I wanted to find a way for musicians to make money directly from the music they make, not least to be able to reinvest in the very expensive process of renting studios, hiring musicians, etc. Music is not cheap to make and I wanted to help incentivize musicians to actually spend more time making music,” he shared. “Also, I’ve spoken to a lot of artists that feel frustrated that so much great music goes unreleased because it doesn’t meet certain requirements or trends.”

Earlier this March, Blake publicly shared his frustrations about the pay inequality between artists, record labels and streaming services, noting that it’s getting much harder for artists to make a living from their music. He also explained that a number of factors, including the different slowed down/sped up versions of songs, the short attention span of audiences and musicians and the popularity of TikTok/Instagram Reels, enable this culture in music wherein fans only know parts of the same song because of its viral appeal. Fellow artists such as Ye and Tyler, the Creator came together to echo Blake’s statements.

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