The Music Industry Gets Crowded

This morning’s post is really more of a “Hey, did you know about this?” post than my opinion; although, it does follow up my recent suggestions on how radio can use crowdsourcing for better content.  I’ve just read about three or four relatively new start-ups from the A&R side of the music industry that should be interesting for both artists and radio.

1.)  My Major Company is a British venture that provides a destination for bands to generate funding to release their next record, co-owned by their own fans.  Originally started in France, the UK version will select 12 musicians in whom fans may invest.  The artists selected must raise about 162,000USD to release an album, go on tour, and market their music.  The fans in turn own 40% of profits generated by the project.  The band gets 20% and the site owners retain the reaining 40%, which they may choose to reinvest in the artist’s next project.  My Major Company plans expansion to other countries quickly.

See also:  Crowdbands, Sellaband, and Kickstarter … all with similar artist-driven business models.

2.)  Sign Me To Roadrunner Records is a project of American rock label Roadrunner Records.  In this concept, fans rate music submissions alongside label-employed A&R representatives.  Fan Users browse unsigned artist submissions and rate them as if they were a “scout” for the label.  The more a user participates, the more influence they have over the charts.  The artists can earn certain “badges” as their profiles are reviewed and rated more frequently.  And, while there is no guarantee, presumably the better submissions have an above average chance of getting a shot with the label.  There have already been more than 12,000 artist submissions and more than 40,000 “scouts” have reviewed music on the site.

3.) is a social media request line.  Fans visit the site, search participating artists, and can then request the artist on radio station’s in the user’s listening area through Facebook and Twitter.  Registration is currently free for artists.  At the moment, a majority of the artists are unsigned or on independent lables; however, Jive Records has committed their roster to the project starting with Britney Spears.

Honorable Mention:  Better Than The Van is a three-year old project with a newly funded site re-launch.  The community allows fans to provide touring musicians a place to crash on the road instead of sleeping in their van or a crowded cheap hotel room.  Participate at your own risk 🙂  And, feel free to add your own jokes here.



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