Not another website to maintain. Do I have time for this?
Merge.fm is an online platform to offer your fans access to ongoing internet events. The versioning platform makes it painless to offer all kinds of internet events that are worth the price of admission...and it takes as little as 2 minutes to hold an event. Then you can interact with your fans as much or as little as you want. Unlike selling mp3s where the massive scale of the internet is a weakness, this creates an experience where the more sharing the better it gets. Your fans will love being there when the magic happens. Check out the examples here.
Who owns the music content?
It’s simple. The ownership of everything uploaded to a merge.fm artist page remains with the musicians in that artist.
What’s the deal with these versions on the side of the web event pages?
As you make music, you almost never get a finished song in one shot. Instead, usually you’ll first come up with a riff or vocal or chord progression. Then you’ll work on it, bang your head, work on it some more, and finally something clicks and it starts to come together. On merge.fm, this process is represented as song versions down the left side of the song page. When you edit and save a song, instead of overwriting all of your previous work, it saves a new version on top of the previous ones, creating a timeline. This not only improves collaboration within your band, but more importantly, it gives your fans the ability to experience where your songs came from and lets them be there when you write incredible songs. And it can also easily be used to hold other events such as remix contests. Watch the videos here to see how.
What’s the point for my fans?
Merge.fm is an online platform to offer your fans access to ongoing internet events. For example, musicians know that the highs and lows of making great songs are one of the best parts of music. You can use the platform to share this experience with your fans, and allow them to engage with you and your music in a new way. You know how it feels when you finally come up with that killer vocal or guitar riff…why not let your fans in on the excitement? You will be surprised how many of them will pay to access an internet event such as this.
What happens when someone buys access to one of my web events?
When a fan buys access, they will be able to 1) stream and download all of the current and future versions in that web event, 2) download a bonus file if you choose to add one, and 3) make comments and contributions. They will not be able to create new versions. Only musicians can edit the song history.
How do I get compensated?
When your fans buy access to your internet events, we share the revenue with you. This keeps our lights on and keeps merge.fm free for musicians. We believe artists deserve as much as possible, so artists keep 85% after transaction fees. Each month we will send you a check based on the number of purchases that month. You can also choose the admission price of each event you post, or even make it free. Here are some examples of the breakdown:
Do I have to pay?
No. Merge.fm is completely free for artists. We know that it’s hard enough for musicians and bands to get by as it is.
Why should I make multi-track song versions?
We recommend uploading multi-track versions to really allow your fans to see and hear the changes you make. The more you let them in on it, the more they will likely get into your music.
What audio formats can I upload?
For now, we are keeping it simple with mp3s only. Their smaller file size provides a much faster experience for your fans. Also, if you keep the bit rate above about 192 kbps, then almost nobody will hear the difference compared to the original uncompressed file.
Can I offer downloads of my music to my fans on merge.fm?
Yes. You can upload a mixdown mp3 for each event if you would like. Each fan that buys access to the event will then be able to download the file. You can also change or remove it at any time.
How do I sync my tracks for multi-track versions?
The tracks must be synced before you upload them. This means that when you output each individual track from your audio software, let’s say a drum track, guitar track, and vocal track, you must output each one from the beginning of the song until the end of the track, even if the track doesn’t come in until later in the song. So far this hasn’t been a problem for anyone, but if you are having trouble, please let us know. We really want to keep the interface simple and clean whenever possible.
Can I remove events?
Each event you make has a delete button next to it. This button will remove that event permanently for both you and any of your fans that paid for access.
How should I market this to my fans?
This concept of offering your digital music as ongoing internet events can only work if you spread the word to your fans. In our experience, diehard fans are much more likely to be fired up about this than casual music listeners. So try reaching out to your biggest fans first, such as through your email list, social networks, and at your live shows.
I’m in. How do I get an artist account?
Sign up for a free account. Each person in your band should make an account. Then fill out the new artist form.
I still have questions
Fantastic! We love questions. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fansartist? jump to faq for artists
Why would I want this?
Ever wondered what it was like at the moment when the great songs of all time were made? Was it a single moment of inspiration? Was it a painstaking process that took months of writing and tweaking? Did they wake up in the middle of the night and record that killer vocal from a dream? Were they drunk and made it by accident? I bet each one was different and each was just about the most incredible thing ever. But, no one really knows how it happened or what it felt like except the musicians who made it and the few who were lucky enough to be there. I want something like merge.fm because I would get the biggest kick ever to experience where great music came from and hopefully be there in some way when great songs are made. The internet provides an opportunity for a far better experience with artists and their music, and we are building this platform to help make it happen.
But my favorite artist isn't on merge.fm
If you request an artist we'll let you know when they join! Also, reach out to your favorite artists and let them know about us
Why does it cost money?
The artists have to eat too! The majority of the money that you pay to access songs goes straight to the artists. With the music industry struggling, the artists are the ones that usually end up getting shafted and we want to change that. Rather than coming up with complicated advertising or royalties, we just make it simple. They make music and you pay to experience it in a new way.
Can I try it for free?
Of course! Many artists have at least one free preview that you can check out for free. Just look for free preview badges.
I still have questions
Fantastic! We love questions. Send us an email at [email protected]