Wavlake Partners with ZBD: Powering a Fairer Music Distribution Ecosystem

Press Release · London, UK ·

Wavlake, the music and podcasting distribution platform for the open value for value economy, today announces a new partnership with ZBD, the leading payments company powering digital economies. The partnership enables a new model where creators can instantly and seamlessly connect to audiences and monetise their content.

Streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music are notorious for paying out extremely small royalties to music makers (Spotify recently announced it will stop paying anything at all for tracks that receive fewer than 1,000 streams per year). Wavlake, on the other hand, is helping shape a fan-driven creator economy that thrives in an open ecosystem. Since its launch in 2023, Wavlake has proved extremely popular with independent musicians, artists and podcasters, helping support them financially so they can focus on creating their best content.

With Wavlake, musicians and podcasters can upload their music and content which is then distributed to a range of apps and websites, including podcasting 2.0 platform, Fountain.fm. Wavlake also gives every listener the option to tip their artists if they enjoy the content, on any app or platform it distributes podcasts and music to, creating an online world where creators and listeners can freely transact with one another, with no minimum payout. This is enabled by the Bitcoin Lightning Network, which allows money to be transferred instantly and in much smaller amounts (fragments of Bitcoin called ‘sats’) than legacy payment processors.

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Ainsley Costello, an upcoming independent musician from Nashville, was the first to receive 1 million sats (worth over $700) on a single track, her hit song, ‘Cherry on Top’. To earn a similar amount on Spotify, an artist would need to have their songs streamed almost half a million times. Ainsley’s new track “People Pleaser” was released last Friday, exclusively on Wavlake and Fountain and earned over 300,000 sats (a bit over $200) in the first 24 hours, which the artist also received immediately. In just under a year using Wavlake distribution to non-traditional platforms, Ainsley surpassed her earnings from nearly five years on traditional streaming platforms.

Ainsley commented: “Serious disruption in the music industry is long overdue and Wavlake has given me so much hope. Large companies like Spotify and Apple have controlled access to both revenue and fan information for decades, but this changes that. Wavlake removes the financial and social barriers that have long existed between artists and fans. It upends the decades old advertising and subscription-based monetization model and is proving that when fans choose where to spend their money and how much they value the music, everyone wins. I’ve been blessed to find a brand new, worldwide community that values me and my music. In less than 4 months on the platform I saw a 10X increase in song-related income, this is a game changer.”

The partnership with ZBD will provide Wavlake with a global, highly scalable payments infrastructure that can instantly handle any volume of payments, giving Wavlake the ability to compete with some of the mainstream music platforms and streaming services, with ZBD taking care of the payment functionality. Through ZBD’s technology, each creator connects a Bitcoin Lightning Address to their profile, so they can receive payments directly from listeners. This extremely efficient flow of money allows users to send around transactions 20 times smaller than a single cent. It also provides a mechanism to better-connect artists and fans, outside of traditional and heavily skewed reccomendation algorithms.

“We’re very excited about what Wavlake is doing, as a great way to push the music and podcasting space forward in a more equitable way, but also as an innovative use of our tech,” says Ben Cousens, Chief Strategy Officer at ZBD. “It’s just very fulfilling to see the ability to send instant global payments with no minimum sizes enabling positive change for creators. Use cases like this are why we built the ZBD platform.”

This is a press release which we link to from Podnews, our daily newsletter about podcasting and on-demand. We may make small edits for editorial reasons.

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