There is a independent music revolution happening online and it’s happening now! As physical CD sales decline and digital sales are on the rise more and more unsigned and independent musicians are turning to the internet for alternative ways of doing business. Both artists and bands and music-lovers can benefit from the new ways of doing things. Here are a few websites that offer an alternative model to the traditional music industry way of operating:
This is a relatively new website that launched just before Christmas 2008. They operate an annual awards and promotional compilation album scheme that features ten winning artists and bands each year. Bands go through a reviewing and voting process in order to filter out the best, and the top ten rated are then given their BandEngine TRA (Top Rated Artist) award. The award can be used on other websites and can be verified by BandEngine in the future at any time. Music lovers can sign up and write reviews of music tracks in return for redeemable points which can later be redeemed for downloads, services and offers and even cash for some UK users! Certain artists also have A&R Reports generated providing them with essential statistical information and research carried out on their behalf by BandEngine. In addition, BandEngine provide regular promotion, advertising, interviews, reviews and featured artist slots for selected artists.
Focusing on the idea of selling a band by helping to finance their albums in return for a share of the profits, SellABand claim that ‘you are the record company’ At SellABand, artists and bands can raise $50,000 in order to professionally record and release their album. They do this by selling ‘parts’ (shares) to ‘believers’ (investors). Each believer is entitled to a 50% discount limited edition CD for each part they own, a share of the album sales starting at 0.01% for holding one part and get to open their open shop on SellABand to sell copies of the album. There also added incentives for those that invest more.
Endorsed by the likes of Primal Scream and regulated by the Financial Services Authority, Bandstocks is similar to SellABand. Artists and bands are placed into a voting pool and the ones that receive the most votes go on to professionally record and release their album. Here artists can raise up to $100,000. Investors are given an incentive scheme and if they invest enough in the production of a Bandstocks album, they can even go on a trip to the recording studio while the album is being recorded.
Probably the most complicated and technical to use, Slicethepie boast an online A&R filtering system to pick out the best new bands, a financing platform to invest in the production of albums and the world’s only music stock exchange. Artists and bands can raise up to £15,000 to record and release their album and get to keep their copyright. Artists pay royalties to Slicethepie for the first 2 years for record sales and a share of the profits are split over 15,000 shares (contracts) between the investors. Contracts are licensed as ‘bets’ and can be bought and sold on the trading exchange at any time.
Sites like this are becoming more and more popular as the independent music movement takes over and seem to be bypassing the record labels. The way that music is made is constantly changing and you can be a part of it!