FAQ - General

The Pack is music streaming – how is it different to Spotify, or Apple Music or TiDal or Deezer?


As a mission-driven social enterprise and platform co-operative, The Pack prioritises authentic connections between Musicians, Listeners and Businesses for the purpose of creating a healthy music ecology. It’s built on a cooperative that prioritises fairness for content creators, not profit for CEOs, investors, labels and shareholders.




How does The Pack connect the music and business community?


The Pack further promotes connections between Business and Listeners by notifying local music lovers of when they are in or near a Pack streaming business, allowing Listeners to interact with the business’ playlists, and to access localised rewards. This innovation anticipates increased customer retention and spend at Pack streaming businesses, generating supportive business patronage, and allows for valuable localised cultural and economic data sharing with local and State government.




Who are The Pack’s Primary Partners?


The Pack is partnering with Ninja Software to develop the streaming software, and Intrinsic Global to develop the blockchain based contracts and payment system. We have other creative partners, who we work with for ticketing, curation, gig promotion and other specialist skills.




How localised will The Pack be? Will I really hear music from my suburb?


To start with, until The Pack amasses a significant volume of local content, there’s not a huge value in creating highly localised virtual perimeters – so we’ll focus on getting WA made music to our WA businesses and listeners. We’ll only be geofencing for preference / priority. Effectively this will mean that artists who are local (to a venue) will be played first.




What role does geo-location have in the development of The Pack?


The real value of geolocation is that we will create much more localised visibility for our WA artists. Listeners will be notified when they are near Pack businesses / venues / artists / gigs local to them and will know that they can interact with these opportunities, as part of their music community. They will also be able to also choose to receive notifications for new music, gigs, merch releases, events and exclusive happenings from local artists that they have interacted with.




What is the business model for The Pack?


The Pack is based on a hybrid model which works like this: Company (Pty Ltd) + (Platform) Co-operative + Not-For-Profit Cultural Organisation.

The Company owns and protects the music streaming technology and Intellectual Property.

The Co-operative manages and supports the cooperative membership and subscriptions. It licenses the music streaming technology, from the Company.

The NFP (in development) will be philanthropic – a grant-making entity to support the preservation of the unique sound of our local music community, and the recording of female identifying, BIPoC, CaLD and LGBTQI+ music and musicians.




Why choose a platform co-operative as the memberships model for The Pack?


Co-ops are owned by their members – not by billionaire CEOs, shareholders and investors – so decisions made on how to distribute the prosperity of the co-op are made by its Board and its members – musicians. This also applies to decisions about how the co-op evolves, and the way it is managed.

Using a co-op model means that our members (musicians) own the distribution of their creative content, and are actively involved in the success of, and the evolution of the streaming service itself. They are also actively engaged in building the community – as the healthier it is, the more viable the platform is for them.




What control and decision-making authority do the owners of the Co-op have?


Co-ops don’t have owners – they have members. The Pack has a 12 Member Director Board. All business decisions are made by the Board, but all of our musicians, listeners and businesses are members of some type (either full member or associate member - see https://www.thepackaustralia.com.au/memberships for more information.

The Co-op Rules set these parameters. Our full members have voting rights and can influence the development of the Pack and make recommendations to the Board and broader membership. The ratified Cooperative Rules can be found one our Memberships page.





FAQ - For Musicians

How much will Pack artists get paid per stream compared to other streaming services?


This is something we can’t realistically answer until we do our testing early in 2022, as our business model is completely different to the major streaming services. We’re using a 1:1 creator-consumer model – meaning that each subscription goes directly to the artists that a member has streamed, as a percentage of that subscription. We can’t know exactly how this will play out for individual artists at this time – but we can guarantee them 40% of revenues, forever.




Are there direct connections between the Musicians and Businesses?


Yes. The Pack allows artists to promote themselves directly to businesses and to recommend themselves for business playlists via the app. Artists will also be recommended to businesses by listeners (and other artists). Artists will be able to use their localised streaming statistics to pitch for gigs in local venues (and even potentially in unusual businesses – like shoe stores and hairdressers – who might enjoy small gigs as promotional opportunities).




Can Pack members only have their unsigned music on The Pack (to the exclusion of other streaming services)?


No. The Pack makes absolutely no exclusivity impositions on artists - they can upload their music anywhere they like! We just believe that they will receive better returns (both financial and audience development) from our 'small and local is beautiful' system than they will from the global streaming services.




How will the process for artists getting their music on The Pack differ to other music streaming services?


Firstly – there are no costly aggregators. Artists control the distribution of their music via direct upload. The music will be vetted for sound quality / compatibility purposes only, and then curated into business specific playlists appropriate to genre and demographic information. Secondly – it’s free for artists forever (no aggregator fees). Thirdly - the smart contracts that protect artists will exist on the blockchain – immutable and equitable.




Should artists register their tracks with APRA AMCOS?


We believe that all artists should have their unique compositions registered with their appropriate music licensing body – in Australia this is APRA AMCOS. We also believe that our artists should be members of the MEAA - Musicians Australia. The Pack does not provide any legal / copyright protection for music, so to ensure that their music remains their property, we would suggest that all artists protect their copyright, and themselves. The Pack is streaming, not licensing, nor legal, so we cannot be held responsible for content - only for where it gets played, and how you get (directly) paid.




Why does The Pack only work with unsigned artists?


To answer this we will describe the pro-rata business model of the major music streaming services very bluntly and basically. Spotify (and others) divide the monthly streams of an artist’s work by the total number of streams on the entire platform for that month, then multiply that number by the total monthly revenues, keeping approximately 30% for themselves.

If an artist is signed, labels, publishers, and distributors then pay the artist according to their royalty deals, which generally are less than 50%, most hovering around 16%, even for major artists, which we think is, in short, exploitative.

Most of the major streaming services send around 70% of total revenues to the 3 major labels, and Merlin. But unrepresented, unsigned artists are largely invisible, not having major marketing dollars behind them to influence playlists or rise above the noise of the label backed cohort.

Basically, we think it’s a rigged system that benefits labels, shareholders and multi-billionaire CEOs – but not the individual content creator. Our system aims to challenge that. So, we’re only working with unsigned only artists (or those signed to minor independent labels who are willing to do their own negotiations on their distribution platforms) to make sure that they are heard and supported by the streaming system.




How will The Pack help unsigned artists?


There are a number of answers for this, all based around equity and visibility for the unsigned artist.

In the main, we will work to generate economic (and flow on mental health benefits) for local, original musicians by directing significant revenues (40%) directly to artists via direct 1:1 creator-consumer relationships.

In this model each Listener or Business subscription is divided directly among the artists they stream, rather than the pro-rata business model mentioned in the previous question / answer.

The remaining 60% of revenue will support The Pack’s technology evolution, curation, expansion - and commitment to supporting, recording and curating and including female identifying, ATSI / BiPoC, CALD and LGBTQI+ musicians via an NFP Cultural Organisation.




If I get signed, can I still have my music on The Pack?


The only point at which we will not be able to keep your music on The Pack is if you are signed to a label (major or independent), and are unable to negotiate with your label to be able to do so at no cost to The Pack.

The Pack is intentionally small and locally focussed - and we can't afford legal battles with big labels, nor to represent artists in licensing disputes - so we ask that our artists manage their negotiations themselves (we will already have to pay OneMusic fees in order to create a system that is designed to protect and support our artists).




Is there any way I could keep my music on The Pack if I did get signed?


If you do get signed to an independent label, and they are willing to sign off on allowing you to keep your previously released catalogue on The Pack at no cost to us, your wonderful content can stay as long as it likes! In fact, we'd love that!




As an artist, what does it cost me to have my music on The Pack?


Not a cent! As a member of the co-op, you are both the creators of the content that drives the system, and the owners of the system itself. It costs you nothing to become a Pack Music Cooperative member, and you can upload as many (professionally recorded) tracks as you like, for free, forever!




What if I want the ‘bells and whistles’ Pack option?


We will be giving artists on the system the opportunity to pay a small annual membership fee ($40) to have a Pack Music Cooperative Artist Page (from which they will be able to sell music, merch and gig tix, develop and engage with their community and promote their upcoming events - with minimal intervention from middle-men who would take percentages of their earnings). We're even partnering with a new ethical ticketing business, Perth based, to help you make more money from gig ticket sales.





FAQ - For Listeners

How do local music lovers support The Pack Music Cooperative?


Our listeners are critical to the success of The Pack. Listeners are our largest contributing membership group, who provide the funds via their monthly membership to support artists to create and distribute their music.

Our listeners are also our taste-makers, interacting with business playlists, creating client-curated spaces, and helping local businesses to design the ambience and atmospherics of their business premises with their clients in mind.




How do local music lovers benefit as members of The Pack Music Cooperative?


Aside from the obvious value of being able to discover the hottest new local music, without undue interference, much of which is not available on any other streaming service, there are a range of other interesting innovations in the works to help our local music lovers feel like a connected part of the wider music community.

Local music lovers will be able to get notified of the upcoming gigs, new releases, merch releases and special events from their most loved local artists. They will be able to interact within the Pack music community.

Listeners will be notified when they are near a Pack business, so they are the first to know which businesses in their favourite places to work and play are supporting the local music community.

Listeners will be able to make recommendations to business playlists, and in many spaces, queue music via an in-app ‘jukebox’ style game, puling their own music preferences into the business playlists for a small fee, which in turn supports artists and businesses. They will earn rewards for their interactions, which can be redeemed in store for awesome local rewards.

They will earn fan badges demonstrating their support for local musicians, and be able to redeem these for discounted tickets and exclusive opportunities from their favourite artists.





FAQ - For Businesses

How can local governments support The Pack Music Cooperative?


The Pack Music Co-operative is seeking to partner with local governments in a powerful patronage relationship, to co-create sustainability across the local arts and business economies.

The patronage of local governments will support the development and local marketing of this novel streaming and sharing marketplace for local, original unsigned music, providing a sustainable scaffolding for artists before they enter the noisy, crowded global streaming space.

The Pack understands that local governments are not all the same. In fact, one of The Pack's Founders is a long-serving local government sustainability professional, having worked at four WA local governments, and WALGA.

The Pack is offering a tiered, per capita patron membership model to local governments, to ensure that all local governments, no matter how large or small, can support and grow their local music industry and arts economy.

Local Government patron memberships are based on population size, and range from $1000 per annum for Councils with under 5000 people, to $35,000 for Councils with over 200,000.

As part of their patronage, local governments are asked to actively promote The Pack throughout their business, arts and local communities, and receive a content marketing assets pack and support from The Pack's marketing team to enable this.




What benefits do local governments receive by supporting The Pack Music Cooperative?


De-identified location specific data will be available to local governments, to support effective cultural investment and arts / tourism and local economic growth. Beyond that, local governments will be playing a major part in supporting and developing the sustainable arts economies in their cities and regions, and facilitating sustainable revenues for their local music community. They will be participating in an important move towards local place planning and curation, which has been proven to lead to more vibrant, connected communities which take pride in their precincts.





FAQ - For Local Governments

How can local governments support The Pack Music Cooperative?


The Pack Music Co-operative is seeking to partner with local governments in a powerful patronage relationship, to co-create sustainability across the local arts and business economies.

The patronage of local governments will support the development and local marketing of this novel streaming and sharing marketplace for local, original unsigned music, providing a sustainable scaffolding for artists before they enter the noisy, crowded global streaming space.

The Pack understands that local governments are not all the same. In fact, one of The Pack's Founders is a long-serving local government sustainability professional, having worked at four WA local governments, and WALGA.

The Pack is offering a tiered, per capita patron membership model to local governments, to ensure that all local governments, no matter how large or small, can support and grow their local music industry and arts economy.

Local Government patron memberships are based on population size, and range from $1000 per annum for Councils with under 5000 people, to $35,000 for Councils with over 200,000.

As part of their patronage, local governments are asked to actively promote The Pack throughout their business, arts and local communities, and receive a content marketing assets pack and support from The Pack's marketing team to enable this.




What benefits do local governments receive by supporting The Pack Music Cooperative?


De-identified location specific data will be available to local governments, to support effective cultural investment and arts / tourism and local economic growth. Beyond that, local governments will be playing a major part in supporting and developing the sustainable arts economies in their cities and regions, and facilitating sustainable revenues for their local music community. They will be participating in an important move towards local place planning and curation, which has been proven to lead to more vibrant, connected communities which take pride in their precincts.





FAQ - Living Labs

How do I get involved in The Pack’s Living Labs Project?


Musicians, Businesses, Listeners and Local Governments, can get involved in the project, which will test our prototype streaming platform for 12 months from February 2022 (prior to full commercialisation and app launch mid 2022). You can find out more about the Living Labs here: https://www.thepackaustralia.com.au/living-labs




What will you be testing in the Living Labs Project?


We need to know whether our music streaming service and its blockchain based cooperative model is mutually beneficial for all of the ‘players’ in the streaming economy.

To do this we need to test and learn, and refine the system with the help of our 'Living Lab' communities - our musicians, businesses, listeners and local governments - before we launch the platform in earnest.

By running the project as a series of precinct scale research experiments, we'll be able to do that, without any 'real' financial transactions taking place. We'll ‘tokenise’ the process, modelling for all participants how the money will flow through the system, and how artists, listeners and businesses can influence, and benefit from those flows.




How do musicians get involved in the Living Labs Project?


Any WA musician with professionally recorded, mixed and mastered music can get involved. We need at least 300 Western Australian musicians to 'donate' their original recorded content for a brief period of time for us to test the best way to get musicians paid fairly and equitably for their work.

While we won't be connecting this project to 'real' money payments at this time - we will model what an artist would have received, seeking real data around whether the localisation and democratisation of the music streaming space can support artists to increase their revenues from recorded music.




Are there any Terms and Conditions for musicians to participate in the Living Labs?


The main T&Cs to note at this time are these:

  • Artists must be a Western Australian musician or band to participate.
  • Artists must pledge at least one track of original music (any genre) to participate.
  • Artists must acknowledge that, during the Living Lab trial, no exchange of physical currency will occur.
  • Artists must be a Pack Creator Member (either individual or band) or Pack Patron Member (either individual or band) to participate. These memberships are free.




How can Businesses get involved in the Living Labs Project?


Businesses in the Cities of Fremantle CBD, Vincent (Leederville & North Perth CBD) and Subiaco CBD can sign-up to play incredible local music, curated especially for their space by The Pack Music Co-op, for a brief period of time, to help us test the best way to get musicians paid fairly and equitably for their work.

We won't be connecting this project to 'real' money payments at this time (so this project will be free for businesses to participate in) - but we will model all the money flows and resulting interactions with your business, giving you real data around whether localisation through The Pack can support you, as a business, to increase your client retention and engagement.

Of course, we hope that if you love the project enough, you'll want to sign-up and become a member at the end of the Labs - but there's no commitment asked or expected!




What type of businesses can participate in the Living Labs?


Any type of business that plays recorded music for public consumption in a public or staffed space can sign-up as a Living Lab participant. This includes hospitality, retail, recreational, creative industries, offices and anything in between. The gym? Yep! The hairdresser? Yep! The fish and chippy? Yep! The Yoga Studio? Yep!




I’m used to playing well-known international music in my space. Will you have something my clients will enjoy?


Our basic reason for being is that we believe that anything America, the UK and Europe can make, we can make better. We will have music of all genres and styles, by talented Western Australian artists, that we believe will rival any music you can stream from your major music services. In fact – we think your clients are going to love the fact that you’re supporting local artists in your space.




Are there any Terms and Conditions for businesses to participate in the Living Labs?


The only T&Cs to note at this time are these:

  • You must agree to play local music, curated by The Pack Music Co-operative, in your business for the period of the project.
  • You must acknowledge that, during the Living Lab trial, no exchange of physical currency will occur.
  • You must hold a current OneMusic license to play music on your premises.




How can Listeners get involved in the Living Labs Project?


Community listeners and local music lovers will be recruited to participate in the project, to interact with the music both 'in-store' and independently, making playlist recommendations and supporting local musicians.

​​Researchers will collect and analyse the influence of these interactions, assessing the model and making recommendations on improvements to the model for whole of system benefit, engaging with all stakeholders (musicians, businesses, listeners and local governments) along the way.




Are there any specific Terms and Conditions for musicians to participate in the Living Labs?


The only T&Cs to note at this time are these:

  • You must agree to download The Pack's music streaming platform and listen to local music for the period of the project (and no - that doesn't mean you ONLY have to listen to local music).
  • You must agree to visit a minimum of 10 Pack Member Businesses across the test period and to interact with their in premises playlists.
  • You must acknowledge that, during the Living Lab trial, no exchange of physical currency will occur between any party.




What happens after the Living Labs project finishes?


Beyond the test period, we will commercialise the system and put it 'out to market' in Western Australia in mid-2022, with a view to a fast-scaling program to see The Pack spread across Australia over the next five years.

At that stage, if artists decide to stay on the system, their music will be fully monetised - no longer donated, but legitimately creating a sustainable revenue stream. As valued content contributors and cooperative members, the service is free for artists, forever!

If businesses, listeners and local governments choose to stay on the system, they will receive one full free year of membership to say thank you for their contribution to the development of The Pack Music Cooperative, and their membership / patronage will revert to full membership pricing thereafter.