What do we mean, "More money for artists... more love to fans"?
The Standing ‘O’ Project brings fans and musicians closer together.
Through your membership dollars, Standing ‘O’ Artist Members get a dependable income. Not pennies on the dollar, but a full 50/50 split of subscriptions to help support their music. That’s more money. (And, all of it goes to the artists, not to big record labels or publishing companies.)
As a member of this subscription website, you get access to a wealth of exclusive music, video and interview content. You also get a closer connection through artist’s personal insights and stories. That’s more love.
I’m a musician. How do I become an Artist Member? Learn How
What Exactly Do I Get?
A ridiculous amount of fun and inspiring content for less than the cost of a CD each month.
Join us, and you are swimming in new music, new artists & exclusive interviews…
- Artists: Meet hundreds of Artist Members up close and personal. Listen to their music, watch their videos, hear their stories, and join their conversations.
- Music: Listen to a vast library of songs, many recorded exclusively for us. Listen by genre, staff picks, most played, random shuffle, or build your custom playlist.
- Interviews: Rare and in-depth interviews sourced from 12 years of Art of the Song* public radio program. Conversation, songwriting tips and stories from successful artists.
More than all this great content, you get the good feeling of knowing you’re helping musicians earn a living in a time when traditional sources of revenue are breaking down.
*The Standing ‘O’ Project was created by the producers of Art of the Song Creativity Radio, a listener-supported program heard across North America on over 100 public radio stations. The show archives are a repository for 12 years of intimate and inspiring interviews with the likes of Jay Farrar, Roger Daltrey,Rosanne Cash, Smokey Robinson, Joan Osborne, Leon Russell, Glenn Frey, Judy Collins, Ziggy Marley, and hundreds more. Click here to explore!
How Does This Work?
Standing ‘O’ is a new way to support musical artists. You can get to know them, interact with them, and be part of a community that matters to the music.
The Artist Members join at no cost
The artist contributes creative content and helps build the community by inviting fans. The artist shares all kinds of content via a personal, customized Artist Member page, including:
- Original music
- Exclusive videos
- Blog posts
- Discussions with fans
Are you a musician? Click here to learn more about being an Artist Member.
As a Fan you join for a modest fee
Pay just $5 a month (or more, if you like—far be it from us to impede your philanthropic tendencies), and you become a Standing ‘O’ member who actively supports your favorite artist or all participating artists.
- You help support artists financially
- You get to be an active part of the Standing ‘O’ Community.
- Listen to music from over 300 artists
- Learn their stories
- Watch their exclusive videos
- Comment about the latest work
- Browse an archive of 12 years of in-depth creatively inspiring Art of the Song interviews.
It’s that simple
The artists join. You support them. They share. You become part of the community. No fraction-of-a-penny-per-play internet streaming models (we do pay songwriting and publishing royalties, however). No taking rights from anyone. Just artists and fans connecting on a level that matters.
How does my subscription support artists?
First of all, it’s a 50/50 split. Half of the money goes directly to the artists. The other half goes to developing and maintaining the website, building the community, and developing content. Sounds crazy, right? Yes, but good crazy.
A portion helps produce and distribute Art of the Song, free of charge, to over a hundred public and community stations. This effort gives singer-songwriters a national voice on the public airwaves, and provides content for Standing ‘O’.
Where does the money go?
In the simplest terms, the Standing ‘O’ Project splits revenues 50/50 between the artists and the website.
The artists get to use their 50% for whatever they choose. A new recording project, a tour, day care for the kids, whatever. It’s their money.
For Standing ‘O’, our 50% pays for administration of the site, and sustains Art of the Song, the radio show that helps feed the site’s content. Production and distribution to our affiliate stations costs about $30,000 a year. The show is entirely listener supported. Stations don’t pay us, and we receive no grants or public funds.
This is a grand experiment. We’re committed to giving a minimum of 50% back to our Artist Members. Once we reach a point of sustainability, we intend to further increase the artists’ share.
Which artists receive a share of my membership fee?
- If you were invited directly by an artist, then 50% of your monthly fee goes directly to that artist to express appreciation for bringing you in.
- If you found the Standing ‘O’ Project on your own, you have a choice. You can choose a specific artist to support, and 50% of your monthly fee will go to that artist. Or, you can choose to support all participating Artist Members.
What if I want to support other artists?
In addition to supporting the artist who originally invited you into the project, you may support other Artist Members with either monthly recurring or one-time tips. Click the “Contribute” tab on the home page, or click “Tip This Artist” on the Artist’s profile. Tips are split 50/50, the same as subscriptions.
How do I matter to the music?
Grammy president, Neil Portnow said at the 2016 Grammys, “When you stream a song, all the people that created that music receive a fraction of a penny. Isn’t a song worth more than a penny? …we all love the convenience [of streaming]… But we also have to make sure that artists grow up in a world where music is a viable career.”
When you join the Standing ‘O’ Project you make it possible for musicians to have a viable career. A small monthly fee from each of thousands of members like you means something unusual in the music business: a dependable monthly income to musicians.
Standing ‘O’ Artist Members can use the money for anything they choose, from health insurance to rent, from touring expenses to studio recording.
With a subscription model, you have continuous access and you contribute to the cause. The process is automated to provide steady financial support to Artist Members.
When you subscribe at the $10 level, you help an artist more than 7,000 plays per month on a popular streaming service! Click here to join now.
What is Fair Trade Streaming?
You’ve heard of fair trade coffee… coffee grown by small family farmers who are paid fairly for their crops, enabling them to stay in business.
Well, it’s about time musicians are paid fairly when their songs are streamed on the web.
Yes, it’s true. Artists can’t prosper with streaming the way it’s currently set up. A well known artist testified before congress that she had over 600,000 plays on a popular streaming platform and earned just over a hundred bucks. All this while the CEO took home millions in cash and stock options.
Three important points:
- In addition to paying the required royalties, we give a full 50% of our membership revenues back to participating Artist Members.
- This money goes directly to working musicians, not to big stars, record labels or publishers.
- We only play 15 songs at a time. Why, you might ask? One of the inefficiencies of streaming services is that people often set them to play and then walk away. This creates waste. The service is paying for bandwidth while no one is listening. This is why our streaming stops after 15 songs. If you’re still listening and want more, just click again for another 15. This helps us keep our costs down so we can afford to give more back to the artists.
Less waste. More money to artists. That’s Fair Trade Streaming.
Singer/songwriters and independent musicians are out there making a difference.
They travel the world playing all kinds of venues, from festivals to living rooms. They have a unique perspective. They write and sing about what’s good and what’s not so good in our society. They are grassroots agents for change.
Singer-songwriters are about a real and genuine connection. They make us laugh. They make us cry. Their music comes from the heart and touches us at a deep-soul level.
These hardworking, often underpaid professionals are the troubadours of our time. They provide a window to our own humanity. They hold up a mirror, allowing us to see things we might not see on our own. They keep visionary music alive in the 21st Century, and they deserve to make a respectable living.
It’s becoming increasingly difficult for singer-songwriters and independent artists to earn a living. Clubs are paying musicians about the same now as they were 40 years ago. Millions of songs are given away for free on the internet. CD sales are declining. Streaming internet radio platforms pay musicians a fraction of a penny per play, and are taking business away from downloading sites, most of which do pay artists a fair percentage. One of our Artist Members reported that with the advent of streaming, his quarterly income from internet sales has declined from $1500 to $150.
In short, we need (and have needed for a long time) a new model for the music business. The Standing ‘O’ Project answers the call. This is:
- A new way to financially support the artists you love.
- A unique opportunity to get to know them and interact with them.
- A new community that truly matters to the music.
Become a Fan Member now, and join a community that’s making a real difference in the way musicians earn a living in the 21st Century.
Why is this a good idea?
The Standing ‘O’ Project was founded by working musicians.
- We do NOT charge musicians anything to join.
- The primary revenue stream is Fan Membership fees and tips
- These revenues are split with the Artist Members.
- In addition to the 50/50 split, we DO pay songwriting and publishing royalties.
At 50/50, we believe it is the most equitable split in the history of the music business. Our Artist Members agree.
We created the Standing ‘O’ Project as a way for working musicians to have a dependable income, and for fans to contribute directly to that success. And, that’s a good idea!
Who do we think we are?
We are deeply invested in this.
We’ve been giving singer-songwriters a voice on the public airwaves for more than a decade. We are the creators and producers of the nationally syndicated public radio program, Art of the Song. We talk with singer-songwriters on air, we do in-depth interviews, and we often record unique and exclusive performances of their songs.
In 12 years, we’ve grown from a showcase on one station in Northern New Mexico to now being heard on over a hundred stations across North America, and worldwide on the internet.
We help artists share their stories through Art of the Song. But as a weekly radio show, we can do only so much for so many artists. By creating this website, we can accomplish so much more. We can help both established performers and up and coming artists earn a better living through the Standing ‘O’ Project.
More about the Standing ‘O’ Team here.
What's Peace and Love got to do with it?
A story from our founder, John Dillon:
It was the summer of 1969. Word had been traveling through the underground grapevine and somehow reached our small Pennsylvania town. There was to be a music festival somewhere in New York with all our favorite bands, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Ten Years After, Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and scores more. So, being devoted fans and always up for an adventure, my friend Stan and I headed north to an upstate New York farm on Friday, August 15, 1969.
Without going into the details, I’ll just say that Woodstock became a major turning point in my life. The feeling of peace, love and community was something I’d never experienced before… the way we supported each other through the storms and the mud. The way we fed each other, and cheered together for the bands. In total awe of the magnitude of this gathering, we somehow knew we were making history. I’d never thought there were so many like-minded people out there. I had found my Tribe.
I knew from that point on, my life would be dedicated to music in some form or another. I’d always wondered if it would be possible to recreate that magical experience. Many promoters tried over the years, but none could duplicate the magic of August 1969 on Max Yasgur’s farm. There will never be another Woodstock. The time was right. The world was right. The counterculture was united against the establishment. We stood up for peace, mutual respect, and civil rights.
Fast forward forty some years. Now here I am in my 60s, and we’re building a supportive community of musicians and music-lovers online. Singer-songwriters share their music. We all share in discussions and work to grow the community.
One day I woke up and said, “Holy sh*t! We’ve built an online version of Woodstock.” The peace, love and music without the mud (or the brown acid). It’s a grassroots movement, just like the 60s. The way we share, the way we feed each other, the way we turn each other on to new music, the way we invite our friends to join in. We’ve captured the magic of Woodstock in an online experience.
I ran into someone the other day who didn’t know much about Woodstock. He asked me how they managed to get 500,000 people there without the power of the internet. I explained to him that there were lots of posters around, but the primary way people found out about it was word-of-mouth. There was sort of an underground network, and when folks heard about all the great bands that were going to be there, the word spread like wildfire. This was truly a case of something going “viral” long before the internet even existed.
The Standing ‘O’ Project is an online community that captures the magic of Woodstock, and we’re not going to stop growing, even when we get to half-a-million strong. We stand for creativity, discovery, community, mutual support and artist’s rights.
The power of the internet is at our disposal, and we grow this grassroots movement by word-of-mouth. Just like Woodstock, we rely upon all our members––fans and artists––to spread the word.
We believe music fans deserve a fun and intimate experience when exploring music online, and we believe musicians deserve to be fairly compensated for bringing joy and inspiration into the world.
Thank you for being a part of this movement that’s changing the way fans and musicians interact and support each other.
Please help grow the community by inviting your friends.
What are people saying?
“I had a chance to listen closely to the stream for the first time this weekend. I loved it! And I bought 3 CDs from two artists I’d never heard before. And to me this is what it’s all about. I get to discover new music, which I never grow tired of, and the artists get to make some direct sales of their music. Win/Win!” ~Bob – Standing ‘O’ Member
“The Standing O Project seeks a personal investment in a community, whether directly to an artist or to the community at large. Think of it like micro-patronage of the arts. You too could be a mini-Medici…” ~Forbes
“For an audience that loves singer/songwriters and feels underserved by commercial radio, The Standing ‘O’ Project aims to help fill the world with voices and song. This project connects artists with fans like never before.” ~The Wall Street Journal
“Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to The Standing ‘O’ Project and to be a supporter of this worthy cultural effort.” ~Steven, Standing ‘O’ Member
“Thank you for welcoming me to a revolution… standing and applauding with you for this truly innovative approach to bring about much needed change to music. Ridiculous low payout rates and the orchestrated poverty level with streaming services [have made success difficult]. With the Standing ‘O’ Project music platform, the little guy can find solid ground!” ~Johnny – Standing ‘O’ Artist Member
“I think your efforts with regard to the Standing O Project are terrific. I’m not a musician nor a musical industry expert… I’ve been in the financial industry all my career. But, I do know a culturally important development when I see it.” ~Ray, Financial Analyst, Standing ‘O’ Member
“I am a teacher… the ‘Million Hearts’ song [by Bettman & Halpin] SOLD me…overflowing gratitude for what you are doing… music makes such a difference in our lives! Humming all the way down the school halls!” ~Tenney, Standing ‘O’ Member
“Listening to the interviews and Creativity Corner segments is like affordable therapy!” ~Standing ‘O’ Member
“It’s like a virtual house concert… a more intimate experience than the other music sites out there.” ~Rebecca, Standing ‘O’ Artist Member