Skrillex collaborator, josh pan teamed up with multi-talented developer, analyst, and fellow musician Paul Meed to create a platform all their own, Matter, a new online community that serves as a digital canvas for anyone to showcase their creative works and for artists to become the arbiters of their projects. Creators can build and engage with a loyal fanbase while getting paid too. The new service offers unlimited audio uploading, uncompressed for the highest quality, and there are no ads. Plus, it’s 100% free to use.
The functionalities of Matter are designed to encourage community and collaboration thought chats, custom marketplaces, live streams, and more. In the race to dominate the social music tech space, there hasn’t been a platform that monopolizes attention to the point of mass appeal. In short, there’s really no vernacular for music/creatives-dominated social media yet, in the way Instagram is for photo sharing. Establishing a sweeping, ravenously engaged community that influential creators interact with has proven difficult in the fairly individualized space of social music technology. Matter hopes to change that. Mix Session caught up with the founders to ask questions about what Matter brings to the artist community.
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How did you two meet and decide to start this platform together?
(Paul Meed): We actually met on Soundcloud circa 2016. I was a fan of Josh’s music and was really grateful when he reposted my first release. Some time passed and as things were starting to feel stale in the music tech landscape, I made a [pitch] deck for what I envisioned as the perfect creative platform. A mutual friend [producer ryanjacob of keyworld] showed the deck to josh and we started talking about how we could make this dream into a reality.
How is Matter different from the other streaming providers out there?
(josh pan) Well, first things first, there are zero ads on Matter and we offer uncompressed audio and unlimited music uploads for the ultimate streaming experience. But Matter exists separate from other music platforms in that we’re not just a streaming platform. Whether you’re making music, launching a clothing line, or shooting videos, we’re building a platform that helps all creatives showcase and build a community around their art.
(PM) Outside of having one of the most robust feature sets available, we truly believe our vision sets us apart. Matter could be compared to SoundCloud, Patreon, Instagram, Twitch, Discord, the list goes on, but none of those would be entirely accurate. With the trending cross-section of underground music, culture, and fashion, Matter lets you leverage next-gen tech for interdisciplinary collaboration.
What daily routine do you see a new user engaging in?
(JP) They’re coming on, creating real, genuine connections with the Matter community and collaborating together on cool projects. Producers with instrumentalists, rappers with engineers, bands with designers.
If you were to start your career independently today, where would you go?
(PM) When I started making music, I met lifelong friends on SoundCloud. For all the frustration surrounding it, the community aspect of SoundCloud was undoubtedly special and the catalyst for a lot of talent you see on the touring circuit today. Unfortunately with the way that modern streaming platforms are built, that same authenticity and connection seldom exists today. You could post to Spotify and get lost in a sea of algorithms that you aren’t big enough to get playlisted into. Or create a Patreon page for sustainable monthly support, but you don’t have a way of driving traffic there yet.
Matter is the spot you want to be.
How does Matter benefit artists in relation to other artists featuring platforms?
(JP) One angle we take pretty differently than larger DSPs is our revenue model. We’re not here to compete with your royalty payments. While millions of monthly listeners are great, how many of them will come out to your show, buy your merch, share your new release with their friends?
(PM) Right, we are here to help turn your casual listeners into loyal fans. Those loyal fans fall under a Pareto distribution and account for a huge portion of your revenue as an artist, we help maximize money from that group. A one stop shop for any artist or creative to share their hard work and get paid for it.
How does Matter benefit music fans?
(JP) Matter gives you unique opportunities and exclusive content from creatives from all sectors. Join an artist club and hear demos, acoustic versions, live sets, or find a gem of a video explaining their creative production process. [You can] feel part of a community and talk to other like-minded fans. You’ll know that your money is directly supporting creators with artists keeping 90% of revenue on the platform.
(PM) Maybe even dive in and start getting your own art out there, but even if you don’t want to be an artist, we have a patent that will help you get paid just for retweeting and reposting good content.
What kind of communities can develop inside the platform?
(PM) Right now we have live chat threads for every artist on the platform as well as a global chat. As users grow and global becomes crowded, we’ll start segmenting it into more localized or niche threads. Things like LA artists, indie writing room, feedback, looking for collabs, southern producers – you’ll even be able to create live chats to share music with your collectives and peer groups.
Are there popular artists engaging in Matter’s platform?
(JP) We’re extremely lucky to have a lot in the pipeline on that front but unfortunately we’re not at the liberty to share much just yet. At the core, Matter has been about giving the unsigned, indie artists a place to shine and our focus has primarily been on cultivating a community there. One scroll through our global chat and you’ll see how diverse and supportive the Matter community is. Really proud to say we just hit 10k active users.
What are some of your favorite tracks or content exclusively on Matter at the moment?
(PM) I started posting some newer demos that I didn’t want out on Spotify as well. You can check these out here. Here are 2 playlists of stuff I personally enjoy on the platform.