Equal Dreams is a Finnish startup offering a fair music market. The firm states to “bring back the power” in music to audience and the artists. The company’s service includes several tools for artists and music lovers to better find and cooperate with each other. Equal Dreams has divided their service into different parts: the Equal Dreams music market, Equal Share, and Equal Aid.
The music market allows artists to sell their music pricing songs and albums as they like. The artists keep the copyrights, and get up to 88% of the sales revenue (depending if the artist is part of any Composers’ Copyright Society; Finnish Teosto takes 8 %). All music is offered DRM-free as MP3 or FLAC. At the moment there are around 200 artists, with over 2000 songs uploaded. Most, if not all, of the bands seem to be from Finland still.
Equal Share part of the service allows audience to invest in music and artists, quite similarly to SellAband. Differently to SellAband, though, the artists can themselves decide the amount of funding they seek, both singles and albums are valid projects. The artist also decides the percentage of profit they want to share from the sales of the final record. The audience is then free take the offer if they will, and to buy as many shares as they wish.
There are not that many bands active yet in Equal Share, apparently only five. Their specified need of funding ranges from EUR 500 to EUR 6000, and the highest profit share offering is 50 %. The closest band to their target has so far reached only 16 %. There has been an artist releasing their album as a result of the Equal Share service, though, in November 2008 (The Fogo Posto with funding of 1000 EUR).
Equal Aid feature is targeted to artists for supporting charities by donating a part of the sales profit to them. Artists can add Equal Aid deals to any songs simply by selecting the organization to support, and the donation percentage. The donations will then be made automatically per each song sale.
It is unsure yet how exactly Equal Dreams is going to go international, and how they will be able to compete the other similar services in gathering the critical user mass, but the motivation to do so is clear. The service now includes English, Finnish, German, and Swedish localization, and payment options cover credit card and Pay Pal, along with Finnish online bank payments.