I work a lot. I’ve always worked a lot. I’ve worked at least a 40 hour work week since I was 19 years old. I think it’s safe to say that in the last two and half years since I started working at CASH Music I work at least 20 hours more per week than I did at Kill Rock Stars. The good thing is I like to work, especially when it’s something I truly believe in.
As a result of all this working I’ve become a bit of a social recluse. Lately when I do get out I’m often asked what exactly CASH Music is and what it is that we’re trying to do. Sometimes there’s a twinge of “what do you mean you don’t know what I’m spending all my time doing?!” and then I remember this is a massive, ambitious, and multi-faceted effort that we’re in the middle of building. It’s not just a simple product that’s easily explained, this is a life’s work in progress. It is really important and if executed the way that we envision we believe will ensure a healthy option for all musicians moving forward. This means everything to me.
My partner, Jesse von Doom, and I have a vision and a very solid plan towards a sustainable future for the organization. That said, right now we need help getting there. We are currently raising funds via a Kickstarter campaign for a series of summits in 2014.
Because I sadly can’t speak with everyone on the phone or in person I’ve broken down the important parts of who we are and what we’re doing into ten simple points:
What is CASH Music?
1) CASH Music is a nonprofit organization. We are a tiny staff of just two people. Our board is made up of 16 people. Since we are a nonprofit none of us can own CASH Music. This is important.
2) Our mission is to help empower artists for a more sustainable future in this digital age. We believe that an important part of helping artists includes helping artist friendly labels, managers, publicists, etc.
3) We build digital tools. Jesse has spent the last six years building a massive platform, project by project, directly with artists and labels. The platform can be downloaded and used on your own site or you can use our hosted version, currently in beta. Right now the platform can do things like digital sales, download codes, email list management, email collection, etc. Later we will be adding features like a full shopping cart, a subscription service, and much much more. All of our tools are open source. This is also important.
4) Our tools are, and always will be, free to use. We are unwavering on this stance. We believe giving artists access to basic online tools is an important part of sustainability.
5) We believe artists should own their own data. All information collected by our platform can be exported at any time.
6) Because we are a nonprofit we cannot be bought or sold. We also cannot take investment. Since we build all of our tools using an open source license this means that even if CASH as an org for some reason dissolved, the code would still exist and live on. Both of these things are very, very important to us and we think very, very important to the future of music online.
7) Education is also a key component of our mission. It’s vital that artists have free access to information and resources that will help them manage and navigate their careers in an ever changing landscape. Education, both online and in person, will be a big part of 2014 for us.
8) We think musician’s perspectives are often missing in the current discussions about the future of music. We believe their voices are necessary to the conversation. We’ve launched a series of summits designed to make sure they are heard.
9) The CASH Music Summits bring artists and technologists together. The conversations started in these events will influence our educational goals, our platform, and hopefully many other projects. We want to foster a new form of collaboration that can lead to new understanding of the intersection of technology and music, leaving real change in its wake.
10) We think that music is one of the most important parts of being alive. We want to help the people that make it survive.
We need your help to make this happen. If you believe that what we are working on is important please consider donating to our Kickstarter campaign, spreading the word, or getting involved. We have seven days left to raise over $15,000 dollars. That’s a lot of money in a very short time. I know we can do but we can’t do it alone.