Carnegie Library launches new digital music streaming platform STACKS | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper
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Carnegie Library launches new digital music streaming platform STACKS 

Artists receive a one-time $200 stipend for albums of at least 10 minutes long, or four tracks

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Followers of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh on social media may remember a call for submissions back in September. From Sept. 17-Oct. 8, local musicians were asked to send their music to the library for a chance to be added to a living music collection.


On Fri., Feb. 15, the exclusive new digital music platform called STACKS will become available to the public for download and streaming. STACKS not only promotes Pittsburgh musicians, but pays them a one-time stipend of $200 for their albums of at least 10 minutes long, or four tracks.

“We found it interesting that artists would have to amass over 23,000 plays to make that much from a streaming service like Spotify at their upper rate of $.0084 per play,” says Robin Rectenwald account supervisor at WordWrite in an email to City Paper. “This feat is often impossible for small artists with limited resources to promote their work as I’m sure you know covering the entertainment industry.”

STACKS removes barriers for local musicians and connects them with their community. Anyone can listen to the streaming service, and those with a library card can download songs for free.

“STACKS is a continuation of our goal to promote the individual achievement of our patrons while supporting the Pittsburgh music scene,” said Toby Greenwalt, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s director of digital strategy and technology integration. “Pittsburgh has always had a lively music scene, but changes in the industry have created many challenges for smaller musicians. We hope this platform will be one way to help these talented individuals thrive starting in their hometown.”

During the first call for submissions, 165 entries were collected, and a jury made up of library staff and music industry influencers - like Jim Cunningham, a veteran Pittsburgh public radio voice - chose 40 artists to be featured in the debut STACK collection. The library plans to open submissions at least twice a year.

Artists represent all genres including beloved Lawrenceville folk singer Slim Forysthe and {arsonist}, a Carnegie Mellon computational neuroscience Ph.D candidate who combines coding and elements of electronic music.

The new music streaming platform is made possible by a collaboration with Pittsburgh’s Rabble office, a startup that created a software called MUSICat. Rabble works with libraries across the nation to build digital solutions and offer their communities a place to celebrate their rich music history while uplifting current artists.
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