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Back, Beats and Beyond

September 1, 2023
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Hi everyone, so I usually start with a bit of a ramble, and end with a thank you, but we’re going to change things around a little — and go with a thank you first …

This month, well, the last 18 months in actual fact, have been challenging, eye opening, exciting and at times hugely frustrating (for us and for perhaps a lot of you).

So thank you.

Thank you for the builds, the pokes, the honesty, the support, the questions, the criticisms, the laughs and the gifs. We know so many of you now and while the plan was, and always will be, one of scale — the DNA, the owners … the OGs, your input and your access, to us and one another, I sincerely hope, is something that will not change, no matter our size.

So with that said, here is our monthly update, where I get to share a little more about what we’ve done, where we’re at and what’s coming up for you all …

Back — what we’ve done …

Well, we’ve now gone over 5M streams, and on the last day of the month too!!

As most of you will know, we had the first real wave of UA (user acquisition) activity this month with Earl SweatShirt & The Alchemist dropping their long awaited album for an exclusive time, on Gala Music (minus a single song that’s being streamed to create awareness elsewhere).

We also had the absolute pleasure of releasing tracks for these 26 amazing artists — all of whom are now streaming free, for you, with you, on Gala Music!

  • Analea Brown
  • BT
  • Bassjackers
  • Bobby Millette
  • Brray
  • Darren Claxton
  • Davis Daniel
  • Emily Faye
  • FractaLL
  • FutureBoy
  • Jaq
  • Jessarae
  • Jewel Chang
  • Jey G
  • Kado
  • Louis King
  • Onyx Toca El Piano
  • Pharaoh Gamo
  • RadioHazzard
  • SEON
  • The Raging Casuals
  • Yo Poppy
  • just shockey

You may notice one name is missing and that name would be the lovely Jordin Sparks!

Jordin released 3 of her upcoming 5 tracks with us this month and we cannot wait to welcome her back into a Twitter/X or discord spaces again soon. Hearing her sing, learning more about her journey and music, and witnessing her lift up our own, home-grown ‘just shockey’ and invite him onto the Discord stage, so he could sing his new song ‘Come Together’ to a small group of music supporters (while he was getting set up in NYC for his Time Square promotion) was very special. Thank you.

Time Square — yes that was a thing this August. Time Square will also be a feature for us moving forward, as we partner with the wonderful Hope Hydration to use their advertising space in order to help shine a light on the emerging talent coming on to the Gala Music platform. We may also ask for a little of their help and connections to support a rather large launch we’re working on …

Beats-where we’re at …

In August we had:

  • 57,321 New Accounts
  • 40,545 First Time Listeners
  • 1,712 ‘Reactivated’ Listeners

Our most engaged artists were:

  • Emily Lazar of September Mourning
  • Wrighteous J of CITY OF SOUND
  • And Louis King!

Thank you so much guys!

Our top five artists by BEAMS holding balance as of today, are:

  • Jewel Chang — 1,666,691
  • PLS&TY — 1,360,582
  • September Mourning — 783,864
  • CITY OF SOUND — 679,604
  • OKAY! KENJI — 580,693

There are now:

Nearly 24k Unique BEAMS Holders (23.93k at time of writing)

We also gave away through our ‘node appreciation’ and various competitions more than 3k of tracks — 1450 tracks were dropped, randomly to active ‘Players’. We also made sure to reward new listeners and encourage fans to jump in and discover some of the incredible names they don’t yet know (… they will!).

This brings me to our biggest ‘new listener’ draw of the month — VOIR DIRE, the highly secretive and hugely well received album from Earl Sweatshirt & The Alchemist.

No question, the distribution rewards for those with VOIR DIRE tracks paired to a Player Node (with the correct amount of uptime of over 20 hours), took a significant amount of the total daily BEAMS.

To remind you all, until we’re live, we are running with a test token called BEAMS.

There are 200,000 BEAMS minted each day (for the Jordin Sparks BEAM boost we added the bonus on top of this amount). BEAMS are distributed exclusively to eligible Player Node Operators and Track Owners. Rewards in BEAMS are calculated based on the plays/popularity of the song, associated with eligible tracks that are available for streaming on Gala Music.

While taking of distribution, I would love to raise a couple of points:

The first is that our expectation is that listeners will be brought in by bigger artists, so we want to encourage their fans (through incentives such as access, merchandise, experiences and rewards) to jump in and explore the amazing new music that is streaming free on Gala Music.

The idea is that undiscovered artists can benefit from an increased level of visibility and support that’s not (usually) accessible on traditional DSPs (digital streaming platforms). It also means that going forwards track holders of Bronze and indeed Silver Tier artists should be able to enjoy seeing the listens from the larger fan bases of Gold Tier artists and above.

Speaking on this, the team and I have just started the first wave of campaigns to support this level of interaction. The Jordin Sparks x just shockey’s collaboration hitting Time Square, Jordin’s singles being gifted to some of her fans and Earl Sweatshirt & The Alchemist concert attendees, as well as album streamers, are all great entry points for us to start engagement from.

The second aspect I would like to highlight is what affects distribution.

There are four key components:

  • Platform listen count
  • External popularity
  • Exclusivity
  • Paired track count (distro is dependent on how many NFTs have been paired.

Some of you may have noticed that along with an updated artist and feature playlist capability, the lovely new UI for login and a rather nice ‘bundled’ tracks feature, that we have also just (today) updated our charts to provide you with more information.

The updated chart now shows:

  • Exclusivity: displayed next to track title
  • External popularity: displayed under popularity column (0 to 4 scale)
  • Paired track count: displayed under Paired column
  • Platform listens: displayed under Total listens column
  • Yesterday’s per NFT distro: displayed under Rewards column

Beyond — what’s coming up …

Well, that’s a good question. Among many hoped highlights for September will be the continuation of our Live Nation partnership, with two more festivals (Music Midtown and Oceans Calling), giving a stage to Gala Music and of course to new and amazing talent.

The APP will be launched — we have been chatting about this in Discord, and to qualify there will be a two step release with Beta (we folded Alpha in already), and then hot on its heels will be Gamma. Both versions will play a big part of our strategy, regarding not just ‘listens’ but fan experience and token utility as well.

The All Access store will see a new set of experiences go live on September 07. These will include Jordin Sparks, as well as some really lovely merchandise, clothing and music content — excited for this for sure. There will also be a breakfast with Taco at Waffle House … (mainly because I cannot say ‘no’ to everything).

I also want us to deliver those monthly rewards — we have agreed on what those now are and will confirm names/accounts and prizes shortly. Moving beyond August, Artist Pool incentives will be more defined and the aim is to have items within All Access to be more easily transferable so that purchasers and owners have power to gift, trade and sell as/if they wish.

Legacy BEAMS and Snoop. These are two items (beyond Kings of Leon, that for legal reasons I can’t talk about), I know keep coming up — and rightly so.

Legacy BEAMS — I understand that this relates to those tracks that were purchased before plays/listens were being recorded (i.e. before March 28, 2023) and I am mindful and receptive to the fact that unlike Player Node Owners that no DECIBELS/Sound Systems were attributed. I am discussing this with the team, as you will likely expect there are a huge number of calculations behind the scenes as we approach launch and any additional distribution beyond that already factored has implications. That said, I recognise the arguments’ merit and we are exploring the feasibility of recognising early track buyers as a result.

Snoop — as mentioned previously there is a film in production that will include Stash Box holders. The strike has forced us to delay filming (despite production being paid and well underway). I absolutely recognise that this will be hugely frustrating for those waiting (including those wanting both US and UK dates for Snoop cookout 2.0), so we’re mobilizing around the utility of tracks and plays to help bridge the gap that has formed. Note this doesn’t affect the collectibles which will now also be prioritized.

Lasty, talking on IOUs — BT Orb holders. You would have seen that the lovely, talented and multi-dimensional artist that is BT, has recently joined us as an artist. While we will be continuing to support his music (I am a little obsessed with ‘music to … ‘game by’, ‘work with’, ‘chill to’), we will be bringing more crossover plays into our world, especially through VOX, who are also going to be serving awesome ‘play’ experiences, that you’ll want to repeat again and again (they have an app launching soon too …).

I’m so sorry for the long message, a lot to cover this month — but a lot more to look forward to next!

Thanks again to you all, we appreciate you very much,