We love music. But we know that it’s tricky to directly support artists on the internet.
As a service trying to empower creators we don’t like standing to the side just watching. So we haven’t!
For a long time we have tried to crack how we can help artists to get money for the great music they make.
”We love music” writes Olsson. To love is a powerful expression that isn’t traditionally used by a company and is probably selected to convey that it is a young and modern network. It may also be an allusion to a concept which independent record stores use as names or slogans (see We Love Music 2013). Flattr might want to be linked with these players who are often known for their in-depth interest in music and concern for artists and creativity.
Olsson (2012) claims they know it’s difficult to directly support artists online and insinuates that Flattr-users want to support the artists they listen to. With the Internet’s widespread file-sharing culture, and given the connection between the founder Sunde and pirate movement, Flattr might wish to distance themselves from the image of netpirates as freeloading. Instead they say they want to pay for what they use and enjoy, but it is difficult and this is what Flattr is trying to overcome. They try to change the network technology with their service so that it’s easy to pay for what you want and perhaps socially believed one should pay for. They are trying to transform a potential image of the individual Internet user as culture consuming freeloaders to responsible cultural users. But maybe they also want to consciously or unconsciously change the public image of netpirates from the image of a person using the technology as a medium to reach free culture such as music or film, to an image of a person who not only consume but also support culture, one that perhaps is even at the forefront of developing the technology to the creators advantage. A sort of revenge against the criticism of netpirates portrayed as killing the culture industry, a criticism that has been developed by media companies in the media.
”As a service trying to empower creators […] ” writes Olsson (2012) and says explicitly that they work for the creators. Why the network is working to strengthen creative people is implicit in them celebrating craft and creativity. We can link this to the hacker culture values around the creation and Sennett’s (2006) theory of the capitalist culture’s threat to the craft, and with it the focal point to see that Flattr does not just want to confirm themselves as responsible consumers of culture as described above. But they also seem to portray themselves as opponents of what capitalism can mean, a rebel against a type of business and culture that does not care about the craftsmanship and creativity.
There is no clear entrepreneurial discourse in the quote, perhaps not only to portray Flattr as a young network or linked to independent music enthusiasts as argued above, but also to distance it from the image Sennett (2006) gives the capitalist enterprises where they threaten the value of creating.