Cheers is a new app enabling users to tip any musician or band in the world with virtual currency.
The rise of digital piracy — and to some extent, streaming services such as Spotify — has hit musicians extremely hard. We’ve already seen efforts to help fight back with innovative payment systems to reward artist directly, and now we’ve come across a new startup built around the idea of “tipping”.
Cheers enables users to tip any musician or band in the world with the virtual currency Bitcoin. Listeners must first open the app and use it to identify the artist or song they are listening to. They can then select how much to tip in Bitcoin, from $0.20 to $2. Cheers then works to deliver the tip to the artist using a combination of identification and authentication systems combined with community crowdsourcing — charging no fees for their efforts. Upon finding the artist, the company will then assist them in converting the tip back to a physical currency. This final stage will be particularly relevant for acts that have no way of receiving digital coins of course, such as street performers. Should the artist ultimately not accept the tip, Cheers will return the sum back to the tipper.
Cheers currently plans to launch in Beta before September —initially only accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment. Should the model prove a success, plans are already in place to expand outside of music, rewarding artists or journalists for example. Which other sectors could benefit from a similar service to make it easier for the public to show their appreciation?