jam.coop is a new online service that allows musicians to connect with and sell music directly to their fans.
We plan to have features similar to other services, such as Bandcamp, but with a crucial difference: jam.coop is a co-operative run by and for the benefit of musicians and the people who build the platform. We're not for sale and never will be.
jam.coop is built by a small software development company called Go Free Range. We're a company owned and run by our workers - a worker co-operative.
We have experience of building this kind of thing. We helped build FutureLearn, an online marketplace for mass-participation university courses and BBC Introducing, a service for musicians to upload their music to the BBC and get it played on the radio.
jam.coop is owned by Go Free Range and we haven't taken on any external funding. Our vision, if we can build something successful, is to "exit to the community". jam.coop will become a multi-stakeholder co-operative owned and democratically run by musicians, the workers at Go Free Range and any other staff we may need to take on in the future.
We want to start small and move quickly. We're "incubating" this new co-operative within Go Free Range to begin with. We're covering the costs of development and infrastructure so that we can build something useful to musicians as quickly as possible. If we can get to the point where jam.coop is self-funding we'll be in a great place to "exit to the community". We're already working with advisors from Principal Six Co-op on how the new co-op will be structured.
We're busy building the first, simplest version of jam.coop.
Here's a sketch of our roadmap:
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To cover the costs of running and building jam.coop a 15% fee is taken from each sale (in addition to processing fees charged by our payment processor Stripe.
We're not sure what the best fee structure will be in the longer term - we need to balance sustainability, speed of development and fairness. We'll be entirely transparent about our finances and involve musicians and workers in the decision of how to set these fees.
If jam.coop makes a profit we will distribute that to musicians and workers using a formula we all agree on. We don't want to get ahead of ourselves here, we're a long way from making a profit yet. But for inspiration Stocksy, a stock photo co-operative owned by photographers and workers paid out a substantial patronage dividend to its photographers in 2021. That's where we'd like to get to.
We'd love to have you!
We want to provide a personal service to our first musicians so that we can work out exactly what you need. If you are an adventurous early-adopter and don't mind some rough edges, please get in touch.
Not yet. Running a successful open source project requires a lot of time and we can't do that and build jam.coop at the same time at the moment. When we "exit to community" we will open-source the code. And if we ever have to shut down jam.coop, we'll open-source it too.