In the Vestibule Streams
Stream or download the latest Miter single and think about how many people would start creating on Substack if they were offered $1,000 a month.
Greetings, Washed Memoir in Real Time (WMRT) viewers, listeners, enthusiasts and subscribers!
For new subscribers and first time readers—this is an interim report with an essay and links to stream and download the latest Miter release. My interim report essays are trending toward thoughts on creative industries, cultural policy, research and community building. These are areas where I have professional expertise. I hope to further merge my professional life with my creative practices on this platform, however, this space is entirely about my own views—so, we’ll see how it goes.
First! “In the Vestibule” is now an official laBelaBel release, available here, at Bandcamp and all other streaming platforms. Here’s an updated Spotify playlist of WMRT Miter tracks distributed thus far, with the latest track “In the Vestibule” queued first.
Overall, I highly appreciate your listening and engagement. Anytime you share WMRT, an angel gets a donut.
A Proposed Substack Equity Model
Imagine 1,500 people. Imagine if 1,500 people liked what you did enough to pay a small price, let’s say $6 a month to support your work. My goodness, that is $108K a year! I can almost imagine a room of 1,500 people in my head, but I can’t, because I’m not very good at understanding scale intuitively. It’s basically like playing the Ogden Theater on Colfax in Denver.
Let’s say Substack has 500,000 paying subscribers to all active newsletters. That means roughly 500K people are willing to pay at least $5 a month for an individual newsletter right now. Clearly, the potential market is much, much larger than 500K. I’m curious what the company thinks the total potential active market is—I’d guess in the hundreds of millions.
How do you add three zeros to 500,000? Pay people to generate content. The framework is in place to implement a equity model on Substack that would pay people for their work, and quickly grow adaptation.
Equity Incentives to Drive Substack Adaptation
Could we create an equity model on Substack that embodies the ideals of the community? This could take the form of a revenue model that allocated, donated and/or matched some portion of writer revenues to subsidize all writers and artists publishing work here. This strategy would grow the platform, benefit all parties financially, and confront equity barriers that stand in the way of creating a new economic engine for culture.
There was an opt-in percentage fee that kicks-in after any writer reaches X amount of paid subscribers? These dollars, along with contributed revenue from foundations and governments could start a guaranteed income model for small Substack authors. These types of programs are not a stretch, they are already happening. As a reference point, Creatives Rebuild New York offers a guaranteed income program for artists at $1,000 a month.
Think of how many people would start creating and interacting on Substack if they had guaranteed revenues of $12,000 a year for producing content. Think of how engagement increases as the dollar figure increases.
As a thought exercise, let’s start modestly: $1,000 per month/$12,000 per year. How about we set a goal of 5,000 subsidized authors at $1,000 per month. This would require $60 Million per year in subsidies. This figure isn’t crazy, especially if you have investments from writers, foundations and governments…not to mention the substantial funding Substack has already raised! If $12K is the planned incentive, then the equity fee should kick-in once your publication goes over this revenue threshold. That is roughly 160 paid subscribers at $6 per month. I believe that such a program would pay for itself, immediately drive Substack adaptation, and have many auxiliary benefits.
Additionally, there are possibilities for fostering social connections to produce value and other new revenue streams. For example, you could incentivize free subscriber growth to an eligibility threshold, build communities around different art forms, incentivize collaborations and use the intellectual capital built on Substack to source consulting or convening for universities and corporations.
Get on it Substack Corpos! However, we don’t need the company to start this idea. Anyone could pledge a percentage of revenues to a Substack Equity Fund once reaching a threshold 160 paid subscribers. 5% seems reasonable. What sort of corpus would a 5% model give us right now? Ok. I’ll start by adding something to my founding plan members that guarantees that 5% of all WMRT revenues go to a Substack Equity Fund after I’ve reached 160 founding members.
Would larger stacks be willing to do this? Think of how many people would start creating and interacting on Substack if they had a guaranteed income of $12,000 a year for producing content. Think of how engagement increases as the dollar figure increases.
There are all sort of details that will make implementing this idea difficult. None of them are good excuses not to do it.
FYI, I just used the Sesame Street Problem Solving Model:
Updates From Miterville
Here’s a great demonstration of how Miter’s music can be used to sell things, even if those things are made up ideas about the future. Take a gander music publishers!
laBelaBel continues to thrive! Below is an announcement for our latest Artist: Angel L. Martinez.
As a heads-up I’ll plan on doing a laBelaBel Global Symposium Substack Chat TOMORROW (Thursday) evening June 22, hopefully 7ish U.S. Mountain Time. All are welcome and you can participate asynchronously at your leisure. You’ll be able to participate on the Substack app or website if you are subscribed to WMRT. If you are not active on Substack yet, this is a good way to start participating. I highly recommend Substack as a better way to connect and communicate online. Feel free to log-on and contribute ideas to the Global Symposium.
I have yet another solid gold/stone cold hit song in mind for Episode VIII, which should arrive in early July. All for now, friends!