Thursday, 6 September 2012

Become involved from the start

Like a double-edged sword, the advent of the internet has contributed to the demise of the music industry as it once was. On a positive note, fans are now able to connect with their favourite musicians directly thanks to the explosion of social media, notably Twitter and Facebook. This is not only great for the fans, but can also benefit the artist as the word spreads across networks. 

At a time when the current global recession is making life hard for everyone, musicians are finding it increasingly more difficult (financially) to get their art to the people. 

Singer-Songwriter Kaz Simmons has just launched a survey to gauge interest in a different way for fans to get involved from the word go with her upcoming new album. Upon investigating this idea further, I find this is an interesting and innovative way to bring artist and fans closer. By cutting out the 'middleman' this might be an answer for those musicians who don't happen to be sponsored by a major record label and need to raise funds for a project or tour. Take a look at Martha Wainwright who is currently using this very idea. The Guardian reported on Pledge Music back in 2009 - Behind the Music: The Future of Fan Funding

Direct to fan
The basic idea is that you, the fan, pledge an amount which then buys you an exclusive - something signed, a shared experience with the artist, a mention on the cd. This involves you in a project from the very beginning and of course, helps the artist to fund the project. If you are a big fan of the artist, this will no doubt be seen as a win-win opportunity.

Here's what www.pledgemusic.com has to say:
Fans don’t need more ways to buy – they need more reasons to. Unlike other platforms that simply provide a means for a purchase, Pledge takes a direct-to-fan approach, inviting fans behind the scenes and into the intimate process of making and releasing new music.

What do you think? Is this a way forward for independent artists? Whilst it sounds good to me, on the flipside, the idea of 'buying' something like this reminded me of a debate we had on the official Jamie Cullum forum a couple of years ago. If you want to read about it, click here

Read more and if you like the concept, please fill in the survey for Kaz Simmons' album project!

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