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Sites connect bands needing a break with fans looking for new music

Posted on: 01/30/2008

From Yahoo! News: Lily Vasquez, a marketing manager from Clifton, New Jersey, spent nearly eight years trying to break into the music business as a singer before she stumbled across SellaBand.com.

The Web site is one of several where artists can have their albums funded by fans — a proposition that takes advantage of digital technology, online social networking and the current uncertainty in the established music industry.

The sites are reinventing the relationship between artists and their fans, upsetting the traditional role of the record label as the tastemaker, promoter and distributor of music…

SellaBand, founded in 2006, works by allowing fans who believe in an artist’s music to buy “parts” of the work at a minimum of $10 each with a view to funding the professional recording of an album.

Once the total amount funded by fans reaches $50,000, SellaBand will help the artist choose a recording studio and producers. The manufacturing and distribution of the album will be paid for by the money raised by fans. In 18 months, 13 bands have raised $50,000 each…

The idea of allowing fans to become part of the A&R process has been around since the early days of the Internet. A number of start-up sites claimed they would up-end the established labels, but few survived the dotcom crash in 2001, and the labels appeared to prevail…

SellaBand’s co-founder Johan Vosmeijer, a 20-year veteran of major music companies, said an artist’s destiny is no longer in the hands of the music companies — or even a Web site like his.

“SellaBand started out as an incubator and facilitator,” he said. “We don’t make the decisions; the whole A&R process has been outsourced.”

Read the entire article at Yahoo! News.

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  1. I found this site in early 2007, and took a very close look. I was impressed with the structure of the model, and at some of the unsigned talent there, especially a band called ‘Elleanore’ and their song called ‘Silence Within’. But there are important questions that need to be answered. Questions such as; “What happens to the money raised, less than the $50,000, if the bands drops out?”, and, “How can the act claim the rights of their music should they drop out early?”. Also; “How will this service complicate any negotiations should a major label (or any label) show serious interest in the act?”. This entire idea is great! ‘But’, some of the small print is confusing, and at least on my review in early 2007, maybe dangerous. My advice: Consult an attorney before signing up with ‘Sell-A-Band’.

    T.J. Grant, VP Programming
    Melted Metal Web Radio

    Melted Metal Web Radio · Jan 30, 10:26 AM · #

  2. In this same article which was written and distributed originally by Reuters, the company that pioneered the business model of fan funded recording, ArtistShare was included. Important to mention, this company has had great success since 2004, 3 Grammy Awards, 11 Grammy nominations and has grown from over 2 to 100 artists and expanded into film and fine arts. Check out www.artistshare.com Before there was ITunes, Radiohead and Sellaband,there was ArtistShare.

    Sheryl Feuerstein · Jan 31, 04:46 AM · #

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