Drip, Digital Music Subscription Service, Dries Up

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Loyal fans weren’t enough.

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Sam Lefebvre | February 19, 2016

Drip fm

Drip, the digital music subscription aimed at loyal fans, announced in a Medium post yesterday that it will discontinue in one month.

“At the top of the year we took a hard look at Drip, our future, and the various routes we could take to get there,” reads the statement, which is signed by cofounders Sam Valenti and Miguel Senquiz. “Between timing, funding, and everything needed to realize this future, we made the decision that now was the time for Drip to come to a conclusion.”

Valenti and Senquiz launched Drip, then known as Drip.fm, as an offshoot of the Michigan electronic music label Ghostly International in 2012. Drip allowed fans of the label to pay a monthly subscription fee in exchange for exclusive releases, early access, and other rewards.

The service selectively brought on other indie labels, such as Stones Throw, Domino, and Secretly Canadian, whose reputations inspired the allegiance that Drip sought to facilitate, nurture, and monetize.

According to a 2012 article, Stones Throw snared 500 subscribers within months of signing on. For $10 a month, subscribers received every Stones Throw release, which they could download in a variety of formats or stream through Drip itself.

Last year, Drip appeared to expanding, incorporating individual artists into the service with the help of a $1.5 million investment. In yesterday’s statement, Drip wrote that the service “generated millions of dollars” for independent artists and labels.

Commentators often compared Drip to the revered Sub Pop Single Club. (The storied Seattle label announced its partnership in 2014.) Similarly to Patreon, for writers, and aspects of Bandcamp, Drip positioned itself as a way for smaller groups, whose listenership yields little in Pandora or Spotify payouts, to capture their core and retain audience.

A 2014 New York Times article observed that platforms such as Drip “are giving indie labels a chance to cultivate and monetize their most loyal fans amid the growing number of streaming services.”

Current Drip members have one month to export their music and data, the statement notes.

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