I love novel business ideas like this one. SellABand has developed a model allowing fans to finance the production of a band’s album, and benefit from the album’s (hopeful) success thereafter. It works like this:
1) Band creates a profile on SellABand.
2) Fans (called “Believers”) invest $10+ in a band they like.
3) Once $50,000 have been raised, the band records a professional-sounding, full length album.
4) Fans get a free copy of the new CD.
5) All the music is offered for free download on the website.
6) Advertising revenue on the site is split between SellABand, the band, and the believers. CD revenue is split between the band and the believers.
Pretty cool, no? Now, mind you, it’s not easy. If believers only invest $10 each, 5,000 believers are required to fully fund a band’s album. Developing a fan base of that size often requires a label’s attention in the first place. In other words, a band will have to be seriously motivated to market its own music, as well as have good music in place for this to work. It’s quite a challenge, but then, that challenge is about on par with the challenge of making it at all. SellABand just provides the tools that make it all possible WITHOUT a record label getting involved, and without the risk of a large, upfront loan taking place. (And, of course, believers can invest more than $10, hopefully reducing the total required investor count.)
Currently, the band Nemesea has $9250 in funding; the tenth most funded band only has $490 of funding in place. Not bad, since SellABand has only been live for a month or so. There are a lot of great comments regarding that model on the TechCrunch post about SellABand. Your thoughts — will it work?