These New Apps Aim to Help Listeners Discover Independent Artists

For those who are sick of the same people appearing on the front pages of streaming services.

If you check out the front page of any streaming service, you'd see it being loaded with medium-to-high popularity artists. Although many of these platforms store music from independent artists, they are usually not visible to the user. According to Nielsen Music, the 50 most-streamed songs accounted for 4.75 percent of all listening on services like Spotify. While that doesn't seem like a big amount, Spotify has over 35 million songs, many which do not get as much exposure at all. A few new companies are trying to change that. According to Billboard, one of these is MyFyx, a free app for listeners and artists who aim to connect fans with similar tastes in what its founds describe as a Tinder-like how-do-you-do-feature. MyFyx's founders prefer to keep their identity unknown ("the artists on the platform are unknown, we should be unknown," they explain.) The ultimate goal is for MyFyx to generate enough listening and draw enough users to bring in advertising money, and five percent will go to the artists on the platform.

Another company going for something similar is the Seattle-based Gyld, a streaming service thats also focused on independent music. Instead of ad money, Gyld aims to convince their fans to pay them $5 per month, and artists would get a return of 65 percent. This creates a barrier to entry for artists who aren't really serious about establishing a career and could have a beneficial curatorial effect, compared to MyFyx, which, because there is no filtration system yet, currently contains a lot of music that does not deserve to be heard. Gyld's co-founder points out that in the US, "maybe 7 to 10 million are what we call 'discovering listeners.' They want to hear new music that hasn't been heard before... It's a very narrow band, and yet it's the future of music." They aim to support independent music and avoid going through hours of bad material.

Learn more about these apps here.

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