Welcome to Ampled's organizational documentation. Our goal with this information is to allow anyone to dive deeper and get a better understanding of the organization -- how we works, how money is used, how we're raising money, how we incorporated, and how to get involved.

If you are reading this as someone interested in creating a worker or collectively owned organization, we hope that our documentation can help serve as a roadmap that you can borrow from. We've applied generous Creative Commons licensing so that you can use much of the documentation towards the creation of other worker-owned enterprises.

What's a Co-op?

A cooperative is a collectively owned enterprise that serves the interests of its members. This means a company owned by its workers, customers, or both.

Co-ops are for-profit, private enterprises.

There is often a misconception that co-ops are non-profits. This isn’t true. Like traditional companies, co-ops are profit-seeking private enterprises that act in the interest of their shareholders. The primary distinction is that the shareholders in co-ops are its workers or customers—not its investors and founders. This means that the company’s profits are distributed back to its members, instead of to a singular owner or group of executives.

Co-ops are controlled by their members.

In addition to profit sharing, cooperative member-owners are given a voice in business decisions. This does not mean sitting in a circle making consensus-based decisions. A cooperative may design elegant and transparent systems for decision making that meet the needs of the organization.

Co-ops are a constructive alternative.

In 2020, despite increased worker productivity, we see growing wealth inequality, an economic system that increasingly serves plutocrats, and stagnant wages. As workers and citizens, it’s clear our needs are not being met by techno-solutionist progress. In Silicon Valley specifically, fortunes are being created by extracting value from our ideas, art, labor, relationships, and data. We’ve become digital neoserfs—tilling on land we don’t own, and giving our harvest away.

Historically, co-ops have emerged when markets have failed to meet the needs of a particular community, or to correct markets that have consolidated into monopolies or monopsonies. When the government or private market fails to provide solutions, collective actions are needed.

Co-ops are the answer when people organize and say, “If no one is going to build this for us, we’ll build it for ourselves.” For example, electricity was brought to rural American farms in the 1940s by community-owned co-ops when existing power companies determined they were not profitable enough to serve.


Open, democratic, and equitable. Ampled has chosen to be a cooperative as a social contract with artists and workers alike - to serve members, not profit. For us, cooperation doesn’t mean playing nice, or sitting in circles and only making consensus-based decisions. It means that we take our commitment to aligning the interests of artists, workers, and the organization at large seriously - and embedded it within our corporate structure.

There are several different kinds of cooperatives as references - housing co-ops, food co-ops, worker co-ops, credit unions, and retail consumer co-ops. Functionally, what we aim to do apply the co-op model to the context of a scalable tech-enabled platform. In doing so, we are hoping to build a global, collectively owned enterprise to bring agency and ownership to artists. Ampled is an artist and worker-owned alternative to rent-seeking and extractive intermediaries.

Collective Ownership

Ampled is 100% owned, controlled, and governed by its artists, workers, and community - not venture capital investors. There is no outside ownership of Ampled. We own it!

Participatory & Democratic Governance

Our governance structure is democratic. This allows artists and workers have codified power at the highest levels of strategic decision making and for day-to-day operational decisions to be made on an empowered or representative basis.

Shared Economic Rewards & Power

Membership Dues are decided collectively and a Board of Directors with artist and worker representation has power to select and determine compensation for leadership.


Ampled is a multi-stakeholder cooperative organized as a member-managed LLC in the New York State. Our bylaws are our governing operating agreement, which function as the constitution for the organization, which can be democratically amended.

Why A Co-op?

Aligned Interests

A rising tide lifts all boats. When our platform is owned by its users (and not venture capitalists), artist and worker interests are aligned with the company.

Broad-based, Distributed Ownership

Being a cooperative allows Ampled to share ownership not only with its employees, but its users. Our membership is open and voluntary.

Other Advantages

Cooperatives can have leaner startup costs, lower chances of failure, are more resilient, have higher levels of productivity, and more. Co-ops have many advantages over a standard corporate structure - there are just more barriers to starting them.

Why Now?

The Platform Economy Isn’t Working For Artists

We are currently living in one of the greatest transfers of wealth in world history. Yet, for the platforms we rely on, the economic rewards disproportionately go to a small group of founders and investors. This leaves content creators of all kinds behind - especially musicians.

Artists are building value in platforms by using them, yet share in little to none of the rewards generated by their participation and do not have a voice in how these companies do business.

Historically, Co-ops Have Formed To Address An Unmet Market Need.

Cooperative enterprises have emerged as responses to “missing markets”. In the early 1900’s, American farmers grouped together to power rural America with consumer-owned electricity cooperatives when no existing companies would. Today, Ampled provides a service for artists as a response to failures of industry incumbents to meet artist needs.

Co-ops tend to take hold when the order of things is in flux, when people have to figure out how to do what no one will do for them.- Nathan Schneider

Co-ops are all around us.

Even if you don’t notice it, cooperatives are all around us. A few names you may recognize are REI, Land O’ Lakes, Cabot, and True Value. Not every co-op you encounter, use, or do business with may announce that they are a co-op.

There is an assumption that cooperatives are smaller or old fashioned enterprises. This isn’t true. There are many co-ops with hundreds of millions - or billions of dollars in revenue each year.

A New Rulebook For Startups

Ampled Is Not For Sale

Startups are obsessed with exits - a liquidity event were founders and investors can cash out. This typically happens when a company is sold to another larger company or goes public. Our goals are different because we don’t intend to sell Ampled. Our goal is to build use-case value for artists rather than liquidity value that investors normally care about. We value autonomy & long term sustainability over the idea of making a handful of people exceedingly wealthy.

Community Ownership, Not Investor Ownership

By default, and for reasons that founders often don’t question, startups traditionally incorporate as a C-Corp. This leads tech companies down a predictable path of selling ownership to investors in exchange for capital.

Where others assume an absence of choice beyond a standard corporate structure, we see an opportunity to ask important questions. What happens when workers or users of a platform own the code? What does technology stewardship look like in practice? What if the platform was actually owned by the people that use it and rely on it, rather than investors?

Ampled has carefully approached our ownership model and fundraising process to make sure that ownership and control belongs to our community of artists, users, and workers - not outside investors.

New Measures Of Success

We have the opportunity to measure our success outside of a wealth-obsessed lens and focus on what is important to us. We can reject win-or-lose models of success, and instead, measure our success based on sustainability, values, and the change we seek to make. Let’s redefine the concept of value together to create a new measure of success.

Definition of Terms

Artist Someone that has an artist page on Ampled.

Artist-Owner An artist that has achieved enough support to become a Member of the co-op.

Supporter Someone that is supporting (subscribing) to an artist.

Community Member Someone that is supporting the co-op through our community page.

Contributor Someone that is a member of the Ampled team helping to build and grow the platform.

Worker-Owner A contributor that has worked on Ampled enough to meet the threshold of becoming a Member of the co-op.

Mission & Charter


Ampled’s mission is to make music more equitable for artists and to operate transparently & ethically.


1. Ampled will be a steward and advocate of artist interests.

We will make decisions and articulate goals based on their positive impact on artists and our community at large.

2. Ampled will democratize ownership.

We will be an inclusive, and equitable organization owned exclusively by our artists, workers, and community.

3. Ampled will default to transparency.

We will be an open organization and honestly share our vision, decisions, challenges, and failures.

4. Ampled will be accountable to its members.

We will incorporate artist participation and control at the highest levels of corporate governance and decision making.

5. Ampled will be a sustainable vehicle for artist prosperity.

We will seek to deliver long-term value to artists, not an exit or acquisition.

6. Ampled will operate in accordance with its values.

We will use fair and transparent terms of use and privacy policies and will never sell data to any 3rd party.

Ownership Classes

Ampled is a multi-stakeholder cooperative owned and governed by distinct member classes. Each operates on a one-member, one-share, one-vote basis, which means that people have power, not dollars.

It’s possible for Owners to be two or more kinds of Owners at once, meaning they have the rights and responsibilities of those two or more Owner categories, but they will still have only one vote on any decision put to Owners or on the election of any Director seat.

Stakeholders include:



Community Members

NOTE: Founders or investors are on the same standing as other members and do not have disproportionate ownership or control.


Artist-Owners operate on a one-person, one-share, one-vote basis.

85% of surplus is redistributed back to Artist-Owners.

Artist representatives have 3 seats on our board of directors.

Become an artist-owner by creating an artist page and achieve 10 supporters on your page.

NOTE: Surpluses are different from revenues. To learn more about where money goes at Ampled, go here.


Worker-Owners operate on a one-person, one-share, one-vote basis.

15% of surplus is redistributed back to Worker-Owners.

Worker-Owner representatives have 3 seats on our board of directors.

Ampled Contributors and Staff are eligible to become Worker-Owners, after 6 months or 80 hours of contributions, whichever comes first.

Community Members

Community Members are not technically owners, because they have no financial upside, but are able to participate in the co-op and gain governance rights on a one-person, one-vote basis.

No surplus is redistributed back to Community-Owners.

A Community-Owner representative has 3 seats on our board of directors.

Individuals can become Community Members of the co-op by becoming joining through our community page.

What Owners Get

Owners get ownership rights, profit sharing, voting power, ability to share in collective decision making, and other membership perks. Ownership rights are outlined in our Bylaws.

Decision Making

Democratic decision making is one of the core cooperative principles. Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. Here is an outline of how we are approaching shared decision making, which will continue to evolve.

Types of Decisions

Consensus: Everyone agrees

Democratic: Voting with defined thresholds for majority rule

Majority: A simple majority required

Supermajority: The action does not pass if one stakeholder group vetoes with a simple majority

Consent: Absence of objections

Consultative: Decision made with input from others

Delegate: Someone given authority to make particular decisions

Ampled’s Decision Making Matrix

Decision Type
Business Strategy
Board of Directors
Democratic (Super majority)
Dividend Allocation
Board of Directors
Democratic (Super majority)
Compensating Leadership
Board of Directors
Democratic (Super majority)
Selecting Leadership
Board of Directors
Democratic (Super majority)
Amending Decision Making Matrix
Board of Directors
Democratic (Super majority)
Fundraising Strategy
Director of Operations
Consent (Board of Directors)
Negotiating Funding Terms
Director of Operations
Check Signing Authority
Director of Operations
Hiring/ Firing Staff
Mgmt (Dir of Ops + Dir of Product)
Director of Operations
Democratic (Board of Directors)
Approve New Contributor
Approve New Investment
Approve Brand/ Corporate Partnership
Approve New Worker-Owner
Approve New Artists
Artist Team
Growth Strategy
Consultative (Contributors & Artists)
Product Strategy
Director of Product
Consultative (Contributors & Artists)
Other day-to-day operations
Workplace policies
Consultative (Worker-owners)
Community Standards & Guidelines
Consultative (Contributors & Artists)
Selection of the Board of Directors
All Members
Merger or Acquitision
All Members
Proposal Submission
All Members
General Meeting Voting Rights
All Members
Expel artist

Ampled Board of Directors

A Board of Directors is a governing body that guides corporate strategy, profit distribution, and selecting/ compensation/ terminating leadership. Our board of directors is the decision making body made up of representatives from each membership class.

The Board of Directors for tech platforms are often controlled by venture capital investors, without worker or user representation. Ampled's Board of Directors is centered around the idea of "codetermination". Workers and users are affected by the decsisions of tech platforms, so they should have a seat at the table.

Our Board consists of elected representatives, to serve as stewards of the interests of each stakeholder group of Ampled.

Artists (3 seats)

Artist-Owners elect 3 Directors.

Workers (3 seats)

Worker-Owners elect 3 Directors.

Community (3 seats)

Community Members elect 3 Directors.


Our first election for board representation was held in January of 2021. We elected 3 Artist-Owner Directors, 3 Worker-Owner Directors, and 3 Community Member Directors.

Any Artist-Owners or Worker-Owners can nominate themselves and vote in board elections.


If Ampled has a fiscal surplus left over at the end of year, meaning operating revenues are greater than total operating costs, the Board may vote to allocate a share of the surplus to be distributed to members in the form of dividends. The Board may also decide to allocate a share of the profits to re-invest in the sustainable growth of the co-op.

It's important to note that Ampled seeks self-sustainability and service to members more than profit. Once Ampled has achieved operational maturity and is able to sustainably and continually perform our core functions in alignment with our shared values, we hope eventually to reach a point where we have sustainable operational surpluses.

Being able to issue dividends to members would be an incredible accomplishment for an organization like ours. And because we're a co-op, dividends would be redistributed back to Artist-Owners and Worker-Owners, rather than lining the pockets of a small group of founders and investors. For more information on this, view our bylaws.

Let's say that in a full year of operation, the co-op was able to collect $1,000,000 from membership dues, but our expenses were only $900,000. This means that the co-op would have a $100,000 budgetary surplus at the end of the year.

Then, the Board decides whether to reinvest that surplus back in Ampled, or redistribute back to Owners in the form of dividends.

Here is how this would work at Ampled, outlined in our Bylaws.


Artist-Owners: 85%

Worker-Owners: 15%

How dividends are distributed

Distributing Surpluses to Artist-Owners: 85% of surpluses available for allocation are paid to active Artist-Owners pro rata based on the amount of total support received by the particular active Artist-Owner through Ampled.

Distributing Surpluses to Worker-Owners: 15% of surpluses available for allocation are paid to active Worker-Owners. This is determined in any manner that the Board determines to be fair and equitable, in consideration of both the amount of time worked towards Ampled and by the value of contribution.

Membership Dues

Membership Dues are functionally similar to a "platform fee", which is a percentage of artist support that the co-op collects for operational income. This is Ampled's revenue model.

As determined by a collective vote in January 2021, membership dues are a sliding scale choice for artists-- either 7%, 10%, or 13% of their artist support will go towards Ampled's operating expenses.