The future of music

Sona unveils new streaming service, offering rewards for ‘Digital Song Twins’ purchases

December 6, 2023

Key takeaways

  • Early today, Sona announced the launch of its first product called Sona Stream.
  • Sona Stream is a free music streaming service that has no ads or subscription fees. 

Sona is a brand-new web3 streaming protocol that leverages auctions, rewards systems, and ad-free streaming to return financial control to artists through DeFi primitives (decentralized finance basic building blocks). Early today, Sona announced the launch of its first product, Sona Stream.

Sona Stream is a free music streaming service with no ads or subscription fees. The app combines these impeccable features with a marketplace where artists share music and auction off SONA, “digital twins,” or digital assets of songs that can only be owned by one person at a time.  

Sona didn’t just announce the launch of its debut product; it announced its $6.9 million seed funding round from Polychain Capital, Haun Ventures, and Rogue Capital. Per the statement, the funds are intended to fund the development of more amazing features and onboard experienced engineers. 

Artists can offer their SONAs for 24 hours at auction on Sona’s marketplace to interested buyers. To obtain immediate liquidity, they set a minimum price and sell to the highest bidder. The most noteworthy aspect is that, according to a pro rata share of all streams on the platform, the owner of a SONA is entitled to 70% of the streaming payout rewards.

In the meantime, the company charges a 7% fee, and artists receive 30%. Additionally, a portion of SONA sales go toward funding the rewards pool, so every purchase helps support all Sona Stream artists. Other transactions, such as ticket purchases, merchandise, tipping, stem downloads, and fixed-price audio downloads for DJs, will be added to Sona’s future features.

The Sona story

Jennifer Lee, also known as TOKiMONSTA, was seated next to Laura Jaramillo on a flight to Art Basel in 2021. While Laura was organizing a gathering for the social group Friends with Benefits, Jenn was headed to a gig.

They connected over their shared experience of Laura’s mother, a musician who never felt adequately compensated for her labors, and they started discussing the issues musicians have with music streaming.

Now, Sona’s goal is to create a more equal, just, and fulfilling music industry, and part of that goal is to improve music streaming for all. Sona is a streaming service that puts the needs of artists first. It does this by offering free music streaming along with a marketplace that fixes the problems with streaming economics and lets artists keep more of the value that their music creates.

Sona ensures artists get paid quickly

According to Co-founder Laura Jaramillo, revenues are pooled every two weeks and then redistributed to every artist and collector, proportional to how much (the specific song) is streamed. So artists get paid for their work very fast and incentivized for the creation of the work. People who support these artists get a share of the rewards, too. 

SONAs, and music NFTs in general, are centered around the idea that they should inspire fans to support and invest in their favorite musicians. This is an example of how SONA owners can help the streaming service grow its user base and generate revenue by directing their followers to Sona Stream when they share the song on social media. Plus, SONAs have nothing to do with royalties from other streaming services, in contrast to other music NFTs. The Sona ecosystem alone provides rewards.

We don’t really see ourselves as a music NFT platform because the original song’s artist and rights holders maintain 100% ownership of it. Co-founder Jennifer Lee stated, “We’re focused on the relationships between artists and fans.”

Jennifer Lee

Tobi’s take

Sona Stream is an enthralling platform. It is an important contribution to the general music space because it prioritizes artists, their craft, and their fans. Many music streaming platforms need to improve in this regard. But what is worrisome is the 70% share of reward made from streaming the songs that go to Sona. If that could be reduced to increase the share of the artists, then that makes a near-perfect music streaming platform for artists and their supporters. 

Tobi Opeyemi Amure

Tobi started as a crypto writer in 2017 and became a key crypto news editor and SEO specialist at Watcher Guru in 2021, significantly boosting their traffic. He enjoys Afrobeats, R&B, and Soul music in his spare time.

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