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A New Music Model for Starting a Band (If You Still Believe in A+R)

I’m not sure how long Sellaband has been around, and I’m still trying to decide if it’s a good idea.  In short, you have two groups on the site: bands and fans.  And just like MySpace music, a band has a page and uploads a few songs and fans aggregate around that page, listen to your songs, and hear about your live events.

What’s different with Sellaband is that it’s centered on a financial model.  A band needs to raise $50,000 from its fans to hit it’s goal, or at least Sellaband’s goal — $10 per fan, $20 per fan, whatever you can get from your fans — at which point Sellaband will give you an A+R rep to record and distribute your album to whatever fans gave you money.

An interesting concept, but will it work?  You’ve got three songs to impress your fans — if you can impress them enough to give you $10 in hopes they will eventually get an album out of it, good for you.  But there’s a chance their $10 will be lost.  On a local level, maybe this works if you can get your fans out to your shows on a consistent basis — and give them some sort of discount or extra perk for being a Sellaband fan as well.

A bigger question I would have as a band member is: do I really need $50,000 to do an album?  Seems like overkill, especially if you already have three songs on your Sellaband page that are good enough to get a fan to give you $10.  You must already know what you’re doing, recording-wise.  And do I want an A+R guy breathing down my neck?  It’s the old model for the music business, the one that has been dying since the Internet took over the music industry.

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