Loudr: San Francisco

While internet radio and music-on-demand services (including SF’s own Pandora and Rdio) are gaining legions of fans and subscribers, it’s not always the best deal for musicians – as noted by everyone from David Byrne to Thom Yorke (who recently removed Radiohead’s entire discography from Spotify). Loudr is trying to give musicians (and especially independent, emerging artists) a better deal by creating a pay-what-you-want platform for digital music distribution. And they’re not just focusing on the typical band – they also include creators of video game soundtracks, YouTube bedroom recording stars, and everyone in between. Fans and followers get to send their dollars directly to the artists, while the artists get access key marketing tools like analytics and pay splits that allow them to better understand their audiences.

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