Overview of the Arkade
Description of service
Available as a beta release since August 2004, Arkade www.arkade.com turned on its payment gateways in May 2005.
Representing Artists as diverse as Heights and the Note Records roster of Artists as well as some of the best unsigned talent around the world, Arkade provides a digital solution for Artists, Bands, Musicians, Managers and Labels that gives them real control over their global digital distribution.
Arkade also provides a variety of tools for Artists to promote themselves and build their fan base.
Your Music :: Your Income :: Your Label
The essence of Arkade is that it provides real control to the Artists and Bands that subscribe to the Arkade service.
We don't presume to be the arbiters of taste. Therefore we don't pass applications through an A&R stage for vetting. We believe the music fan, the downloader, should be the judge of whether they enjoy the music.
An Artist decides what music they put on their Arkade site. Using their personal Site Control Panel, Artists can upload whatever tracks they like to their Arkade Site and they describe the genre and add notes and credits as they see fit. Equal control is given to the removal of a track: at the click of a button, Artists can remove a track or totally deactivate their Arkade Site.
Additionally they can bundle music in whatever combinations they wish. For example an Artist could supply three tracks individually and then (or only) provide them as an EP bundle, perhaps with a bonus live track (that's not available separately) or an interview track.
Images relating to an album, EP or track can be added, establishing the personality of the Artist's Arkade Site.
Artists have full control of their music and the Arkade non-exclusive terms and conditions confirm that they retain all the rights in their music.
Unlike most digital music stores we do not operate on a pre-determined pricing structure. The Artist decides the price of downloads and bundles. They can change the pricing at any time they wish through their Site Control Panel.
There is also a great promotions feature which allows the Artist to run special offers that are driven by limiting time or quantity. For example an Artist could market a track as "60p for the first 20 purchases" and when these have been sold the price would automatically revert to the normal price or the track could be removed from sale (a digital 'limited edition').
But the thing that really distinguishes the Arkade is that Artists receive 100% of the download price they set. Therefore if they sell 168 downloads priced at £1 they would earn £168. There is no split of earnings that the Artist has to give away.
The Arkade embraces the contemporary concept of eLabels. Music has always tended to be delivered in a form suited to its carrier e.g. 8 track, vinyl, compact cassette, CD etc. With the internet the rules are changed and the old album concept is no longer relevant.
We encourage Artists to produce and release regular EPs of three or four tracks. This means that an Artist has more frequent releases and can maintain more relevant dialogue with their fan base.
The Arkade Artist Site Control Panel provides statistics of visits, track previews, track sales and bundle sales. Quarterly reporting is delivered in the same manner as a label which allows the Artist (or label if they are the subscriber) to correctly account for their business.
The Arkade uses bespoke ASP.NET code and Microsoft SQL database to provide a stable and robust platform.
Provision has been made to locally cache popular content in the UK and around the world as the demand grows. This ensures fast delivery of content and reduced bandwidth costs for the future.
By giving the subscriber their own Site Control Panel that can be accessed and used from any web browser, Artists are able to manage their sites when they want and wherever they are.
While uploading music our custom developed encoding system automatically creates a 90 sec preview and adds Meta Data. On Arkade, the integrity of the uploaded MP3 music files specs is always retained; both for previews, streaming via Radio Arkade and for downloads.
Each week sales and preview charts are automatically generated from the database of activity. These charts can be filtered by genre.