Online Fundraising for Bands

There was an interesting article in the NY Times a few days ago about web 2.0 sites that allow bands to raise money for tours, albums, etc. by coordinating donations from their listeners. These websites hit my radar screen a few years back with the advent of Sellaband, which attempts to raise $50,000 for its artists, at which point they are entitled to a pro recording session with a “real” producer, and some other stuff. Along the way, donors are thanked for their level of generosity with special merchandise and access to the musicians.

I never wrote about Sellaband because it wasn’t something I was personally interested in trying. It only works if you have enough fans to generate a ton of donation money, and judging from my sales to date that just wasn’t gonna happen for me. In the meantime, Sellaband has gone bankrupt and gotten new investors.

This article in the NYTimes highlights some depressing facts not only about Sellaband but the difficulty of creating something unique, and inspiring enough to gather the support you may be wanting for your music:

  • “Four years in, the SellaBand model has not helped many groups. More than 15,000 artists have set up projects at the site, but fewer than 50 have been fully financed”
  • There are 13 million music profiles on MySpace, and 4,000 artists on the rosters of the major music labels

While these may be discouraging, the MySpace figure at least is deceptive, since I’m guessing many of those profiles are dead carcasses of former music projects that no longer exist. I’m sure that a couple of them are from my own projects…

To sum it all up: More bands => more competition for the pocketbooks and wallets.

Not that there’s anything surprising about this, really. The other site that the article features is called KickStarter, which bills itself as a “A FUNDING PLATFORM FOR ARTISTS, DESIGNERS, FILMMAKERS, MUSICIANS, JOURNALISTS, INVENTORS, EXPLORERS…” Check it out. I like how it’s targeted not just at musicians but anyone that wants to raise money for any sort of project. I can think of several crazy ideas that would be fun to solicit some funds for. I’ll leave that to your imaginations…

2 thoughts on “Online Fundraising for Bands”

  1. This is a great way for bands to raise money. With the music industry pretty much powerless to stop people pirating music, this new model, of fans acting as ‘benefactors’ for bands that they like may provide a sustainable business model for the future.

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