Influential London-born music platform NTS, which spans online radio, events and merchandise, has launched a new membership club called, NTS Friends.
Priced at £49.50 a year and available worldwide, club members get a collection of five limited edition artist prints; early access to an enhanced listener experience; 20% off NTS merch and a numbered black metal NTS Friends card.
NTS says that it’s limiting the club intake to an initial 1,000 Founder Friends.
‘We’re starting small, but we have plans to launch a wider listener support programme next year,’ says NTS on its FAQ page.
‘Founder Friends will always get a little extra, as thanks for backing us at the very beginning,’ it adds.
NTS was launched by Femi Adeyemi in 2011 and was joined by co-CEO Sean McAuliffe in 2013.
The radio platform features specialist shows across all genres of music, with ‘thousands of hours’ of content available on demand. It broadcasts 24/7 via two live channels and is also completely advertisement free.
NTS has permanent studios in London, Los Angeles and Manchester and a regular pop-up studio in Shanghai.
Over 500 resident artists, music producers, DJs and record collectors have regular show slots on NTS, spanning 50 cities globally.
Artists that play live on NTS range from Flying Lotus, Bjork, Slowthai (pictured) and Skepta, to The XX, Andrew Weatherall, Kamasi Washington, The Black Madonna, Sampha, Kelela, Floating Points, Mac Demarco and many others.
According to the NTS Friends FAQs, money from the membership fees will go to “global music licensing fees, streaming infrastructure, studio maintenance, building new tech features, [and] the costs of creating thousands of hours of great radio, and the 30 NTS staff that keep it all going.”
“As the algorithm takes over, real music community is more important than ever.”
“As the algorithm takes over, real music community is more important than ever,” writes the company on its ‘NTS Friends’ launch page.
It continues: “Over the last eight years, we’ve thrown events, sold merchandise, collaborated with brand partners, and received funding from private individuals and the Arts Council.
“This has kept NTS running 24/7 and protected our creative freedom. It has also given a platform to thousands of artists and resident DJs, most of whom part-own NTS. But as more people tune in around the world, our music licensing fees go up, and the pressures on our streaming infrastructure increase.
“NTS is dedicated to helping people discover incredible music. To stay ad-free and keep innovating, we need a little help from our friends.”Music Business Worldwide