$1 million distributed to 150 groups and creators
Recapping Season One of Quality Drops
Metalabel is a project establishing new ways for creative people to collaborate and release work together.
From March through June we put our purpose into practice with some fellow collectives and labels in a series of ten releases called Quality Drops.
Every Quality Drop released a creative project, a physical work, or an in-person event. Hundreds of zines, art books, and records were mailed around the world, and people gathered at multiple events in NYC because of a Quality Drop.
The releases explored and produced work in a wide variety of mediums and formats, from zines to art books to citizen journalism to events to music to video art. The majority made their work available for sale both through traditional e-commerce flows and onchain records, and six of the ten releases had at least one of their offerings sell out.
More than 150 creative people and twenty collectives participated in the series, from the musician collective Songcamp to citizen journalist groups to a poet and photographer releasing work as FKMM. Some had worked together on projects before. For others, it was their first act of collaboration together.
The practical and emotional impact of collaborating was significant. As Jay Islate of The Idiot, a collective of post-internet artists who used Quality Drops to screen their work in a movie theater in NYC, told us: “Ultimately it would have been hard to do this solo. Really felt like I was trusted with the idea and that set the stage for everything else.”
The releases created an emotional, cultural, and financial impact for all involved. Across the ten drops more than 10,000 releases were purchased by 3,626 people, generating $1,000,000+ in sales distributed to more than 150 people and creative groups around the world.
This series was an experiment in a new model for how people can make creative work and share rewards with one another. It embodied the spirit we called for in our own Quality Drop, A New Creative Era.
These efforts to help creative collectives and labels put work into the world are just beginning.
This fall Metalabel and Quality Drops will return with new resources and releases to help groups of creative people collaborate and release work together.
Want to be part of it? Apply to join us at this link:
How participants felt
We asked the creators behind the releases about their Quality Drops experience. Here’s what some of them said:
“Working on the Quality Drop was awesome. The team walked us through the process really generously, making sure we had control where it mattered but also structuring the offering in helpful ways and taking care of the stuff we don't have capacity for. It also introduced the project to audiences we wouldn't otherwise have. As a result, we were able to direct funds back toward participant communities in the project. I was extremely happy with how it turned out.” – Nathan Schneider, MedLab
“I was pleasantly surprised with the results! Not that I was expecting something specific but just more surprised at how simple and relaxed the process was and the support / enthusiasm our work was received with from the Metalabel team. It was great to see how through this our work is reaching a new audience too.” — Francis and Malaya from FKMM
“I loved not having to think inside a content container — like ‘music album,’ ‘NFT,’ ‘whitepaper’ — to approach the packaging of these ideas. Metalabel’s release and record structure encourages new forms of releasing ideas out into the world, and it would be great to continue to experiment with the model.” — Kaitlyn Davies, Refraction
“Metalabel's well-established brand identity and innovative drop format set a remarkable precedent, creating palpable anticipation for our drop. This exciting journey was made even more special by the potent synergy between our organizations.” – Mark Redito, Songcamp
Quality Drops are quality
The Metalabel squad thanks all of the groups, contributors, and collectors who participated in this series from the bottom of our collective heart. We look forward to collaborating with them again in the future and can’t wait to collect more incredible creative work in the process.
You can check out all ten releases and their collective impact at the new Quality Drop recap page, found here: