Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Any more slicethepie?

It's not a new idea, but the involvement of Steve Pankhurst has helped generate some interest in Bandstocks.

Pankhurst was a founder of Friends Reunited, the service which lets you find out where the people you went to school with are now ("on Facebook", normally) and he's put some of the cash he got offloading the site to ITV into the new scheme. It's another one of those places where bands can appeal to fans to pay the costs of producing an album up front:

Bandstocks will let the public buy a stake in an artist in £10 increments. Once funding reaches a preordained level, for example £100,000, the money will be released for the act to record an album.

Investors will get a copy of the album, a credit on the CD sleeve and a percentage of the profits from its sale and licensing. They will also get priority ticket booking and the opportunity to buy limited edition releases. For the artist, founder Andrew Lewis claimed that Bandstocks would offer a better return than a major-label deal, as well as more freedom and control over copyright.

It's a great idea, but we're still puzzling over how a 100 grand album, paid for in ten quid chunks, would find space to squeeze in the names of ten thousand sponsors on the CD box.

Still, it's an idea that does work - and, effectively, puts 'funding an album' on a par with 'sponsoring a lemur at Chester Zoo' - although if you sponsor a lemur you get free tickets to see him do his thing. But not a free record.

Bandstocks has apparently got Martin Carr lined up to raise funds through its service, and - the crucial difference with similar services - it looks like the idea is to exert a quality control-cum-artistic judgement criteria on who will be able to apply for funding this way, rather than just providing the tools and inviting everyone to wade in. That, then, should help tempt cautious investors by building up a more positive track record of success.


James said...

Bandstocks will let the public buy a stake in an artist in £10 increments... Investors will get a copy of the album, a credit on the CD sleeve...

Not a bad idea - Could do with some tweaking though. How about instead of a flat promise of 'a credit on the CD sleeve' for everyone, they offer a sliding scale based on your stake?
£10: A credit on the CD sleeve
£25: A credit on the CD sleeve before God
£50: Your name included in a special track on the album, like 'We Didn't Start the Fire' by Billy Joel
£100: Your face on the album sleeve, like Sgt Pepper
£500: Your arse on the sleeve, like 'Is This It'
£600: Your arse-like face on the sleeve, like 'No Jacket Required'
£1000: Band to write track about you (N.B. Offer not open to Jason Orange)
£5000: Band to float large inflatable effigy of you over stage at all open-air gigs
£10000: You get to name the band.

Admit it, it'd be worth £10K for the excitement of listening to the Radio 1 Chart Show to find out if there was a new entry for 'Fearne And Reggie Are Bloody Awful'.

Anthony said...

seems quite similar to

Olive said...

Kevin Kelly had a similar idea:

Anonymous said...

lol @ the Jason Orange comment.. but.. the Flaming Lips did it?!

Unknown said...

Thank you, your article is very good

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