Machine Shop: Hype Machine Team Blog

A year of crowdfunding Hype Machine

Hard to believe, but it’s been a whole year since we launched our funding campaign. Thanks to our supporters, the three of us have been able to keep Hype Machine running, and built a few new things!

If you don’t currently subscribe, join us.

We wanted to share a few stats, what we’ve been up to this year, and what we are thinking about for the future.

First, the stats:

In short, there are many of you listening and finding new music from nearly 600 sites in our index, tracks that could be easy to miss in today’s algorithmic feeds. That’s amazing.

3,898    Supporters
1,265    Supporter packs mailed
103K     Listeners
2.3M     Favorites
324       Artists featured in Stack

Second, the money:

We started the campaign one year ago at a deficit, but as subscriptions grew, we reached break-even. In April, they made up 86% of our revenue (up from 0%), compared to 14% from advertising. Today, the subscriptions are enough to keep us running, and we are looking for more revenue to grow. We’ve got a new ad partner to help that along. Subscriptions are continuing to rise as well.

Finally, the product:

During the year, we released supporter-requested features like Favorites search (your favorites now show up first in searches), Night mode, Zeitgeist 2017 (our overview of the year in music) and 48 issues of Stack. There was lots of boring maintenance work too, on the web app, mobile apps, advertising tech, backend infrastructure—things like upgrading sharded MongoDB clusters and figuring out what changes are needed to make us GDPR compliant (not too many, as we collect very little data).

Next, we are working on making our genre pages more accurate. These categories have historically relied on tag data from Last.fm, but we will be adding a few more sources to get more consistent results. After that, we’ll come back to the supporter survey to see what else we can build to make Hype Machine better.

Thanks for listening this year! If you have ideas or questions about our work, don’t hesitate to write.

Join the community that’s keeping Hype Machine going.

Zeitgeist 2017

It’s Zeitgeist time! We’re back with our annual collection of the year’s best music. Alongside the most-posted artists and videos of the year are two new features:

First is a reflection from some of the people who defined the year in emerging music. We asked artists featured in our Stack newsletter for their favorite music discoveries of 2017. Their answers—songs, videos, mixes, books, experiences—are collected in the Stacks section.

The next feature is exclusively for current Hype Machine supporters: a playlist containing the most popular tracks of the year according to data from the supporter community.

Dive in!

Funding Q&A

Three months into our funding campaign, we have been encouraged by the outpouring of support. A lot of work is still ahead: while we’re now over 3,000 supporters strong, your contributions remain key for us to invest in new features and improvements to our mobile apps.
We noticed that some of our supporters occasionally had questions before signing up. I’ve gathered a few that have come up frequently, hopefully these can clarify a few details.
Q: What happened? Why are you running this campaign?
A: Over the years, we had primarily been funded by banner ads. Today, ad spending has mostly shifted to a handful of larger sites/social networks. But that doesn’t mean Hype Machine should stop working—there’s still more new music to find!
Q: I already bought your app. Why should I pay again?
A: Thanks for buying the app! These one-time payments helped its development at the time, but they can’t support our company in the long term.
Q: Weren’t you bought by SoundCloud?
A: No, we have no financial relationship with SoundCloud. They do host a lot of the music that people are writing about, though, and we have supported their embeddable players since 2008.
Q: Can you bring back offline mode? What about Sonos integration?
A: We’ve had to remove offline listening from our iPhone app, and make changes to Sonos functionality at SoundCloud’s request. One way to continue listening offline is to sync your favorites with a premium SoundCloud or Spotify account and listen to the playlist in those apps. The playlist will be automatically updated as you find new tracks on Hype Machine, and you can play it on Sonos as well. Link your accounts here.
Q: Where will the money go?
A: All of the subscription revenue goes to pay for servers (20%), salaries and health care for our team (80%). As more supporters join, we’ll be able to invest in improving our mobile apps and building new features.
Q: What do I get as a supporter?
A: No ads, access to a supporter-only group playlist, stickers at the $6+ level, and Hype Machine will keep running and making new stuff.

More questions? Check out an article discussing this campaign in The Outline, and ask away.

If you’ve enjoyed our work, become a supporter.

Fund Hype Machine

Team Hype Machine

Hype Machine turned 12 last week! That’s a long time for any service, especially an independent one. How long have you been listening with us?

To celebrate, we’ve redesigned the site for better navigation and playback, and added a few new features.

We’ve also introduced a way to fund our work directly. With your support, we can continue to build new pathways for music discovery for many more years to come. Join us here.

Update May 20, 2017 We’ve reached our first goal of 1,000 supporters, our first step towards sustainability. Thank you! A lot of work is ahead, however – to continue developing the service we need at least 3,000 monthly supporters. Join us.

Update May 22, 2017 Read what our supporters are saying about Hype Machine.

Update July 21, 2017 We’ve reached our second goal of 3,000 supporters! Thank you!

Zeitgeist 2016

Hype Machine's Zeitgeist 2016

It’s here! Our 10th annual roundup of the year’s best music, with the most-discussed artists and videos of 2016, and every longread we’ve Stacked each week. To start, we’ve compiled a few of the stories we’ve followed in Stack throughout the year, with artists, labels, and genres that have gained prominence in 2016.

You can also play the Artists and Stack Stories playlists on Spotify.

Click through to refresh your memory of 2016, or catch up on what you may have missed this year. There’s always more music to discover.

WHAT IS HYPE MACHINE?

Hype Machine indexes hundreds of music sites and collects their latest posts for easy streaming and discovery. We're here to help you find the best new music first.

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