Is music industry too 'noisy' for independent artists? Arena app looking to help

Posted at 5:01 AM, Sep 06, 2017

Taylor Swift's new song is breaking records on Spotifiy alone. But only a few years ago Swift temporarily pulled her music from the free music streaming service saying her art was not valued.

It's hard to profit but Swift is used to topping the charts, so imagine all those independent artists out there. ABC15's Justin Pazera found a Valley man who might be able to help those artists make a living.

The band Red Tank! has been in the local Phoenix music scene for a while, even traveling around the country for gigs. The performing part is easy compared to actually getting their music streaming in your ears.

"It's easier than ever to be heard," said band member Clipper Arnold. "But, you know you're also contending with a whole of white noise going on."

Damon Evans is trying to make the music biz "less noisy" for independent artists. The Valley businessman started in music distribution back in the days of Tower Records and Sam Goody stores in the mall. But the music business has changed.

"Independent artists are having a hard time monetizing in today's music economy," said Evans. Especially since a lot of people pay a $10 per-month fee and stream anything they want, like on Apple Music.  "The content streamed by independent acts generate less than three- to six-tenths of a penny per play making a million streams basically inconsequential."

So Evans launched the Arena Music App. It works like Spotify or Pandora - it's free, except Arena leverages the free music with exclusive band merchandise to buy. The payout for artists is much better than fractions of a penny.

"In order to survive in today's music economy you have to leverage your music as the lost leader," said Evans.

Arena Music is available to download now. The app mixes in major label artists with independent artists, some from right here in Arizona.