Digital Labor

Peter Harris


Peter Harris has been a web developer since 1997, building countless websites across a wide range of trades, with a particular focus on the creative arts. Having witnessed the rise and fall of numerous platforms, services and technologies, he feels it’s time to usher in a new phase – one in which crowds benefit from their contributions, in stark contrast to the hierarchical, centralized models currently dominating the web. Having worked on numerous websites for a broad spectrum of musicians – from multi-platinum selling artists to struggling independents – a constant focus of the last 15 years has been on the problems artists face in regards to royalties, distribution and fan retention. These issues find their solution in Resonate, a project Peter is coordinating from his adopted home of Berlin, Germany.

Resonate is a music streaming service to be run as a worker/consumer cooperative. Stories in the media abound about unjust royalty practices in the music streaming world, driven by complex, secretive deals between major labels and online platforms. Resonate aims to solve the fundamental problem of fair payments by creating transparent accounting systems, while addressing other key issues regarding direct connections between musicians and fans. The core software will be developed using an open source model while seeking crowd participation on the marketing, features and content development side.

Can we in the platform co-op community build global, decentralized workforces outside the standard investor paradigm that dictates development and channels profits to a select few? How can software developers, marketing specialists, industry consultants, designers and bloggers equitably participate across a diverse spectrum of non-cash rewards for casual involvement versus salaries for full-time employment? We’re exploring those issues while building a music streaming platform by and for the people.