The Prize of an Album

A few days ago we published a short resumé on four artists on our roster who had just released new albums. This in itself is not very spectacular, it happens all the time, what is noteworthy, however, is that three of these artists managed it with crowdfunding. 

The production of an album can be quite expensive depending on studio location, studio time, co-musicians and other factors. Big name artists usually rely on a label backing the production financially and taking care of the distribution and promotion. However, the majority of artists doesn’t have these resources available. An album is not only a demonstration of artistic capability, it is also a valuable source of income supplementing performance fees. It could become the stepping stone to a successful career. For these reasons most artists need an album, but they also want it. Many would consider it a personal dream fulfilled …  if it ever came true.

Yet, it may no longer have to remain a dream, crowdfunding may make it come true. But what is crowdfunding? According to Wikipedia, crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. It is generally based on three types of actors: the project initiator who proposes the idea or project to be funded, individuals or groups who support the idea, and a moderating organization (the “platform”) that brings the parties together to launch the idea.

A word of caution, it may not come as easy as guitar riffs. It entails a campaign and someone who runs that campaign. Although hundreds of specialized companies offer their services on all continents, there is no guarantee that a musician or a band is finding a home at such a company. If upon closer examination, it turns out that the fan base is too thin or the expectations are set too high, the project is too abstract or too commonplace, the musician or band may be turned down. 

What then is the lesson to be learned from a rejection?

1. The production of an album is a serious matter, it should not be based on a snap decision.

2. The reasons why a particular album should be produced need to be well defined and stated

3. Whatever the reasons, the album should be treated like a project, and as such, managed professionally.

4. The „market” must be defined and thoroughly analyzed, attainable goals and priorities set and a timeline set.

5. Once the homework is done, the moment to try again has arrived.

An album project now has a much better chance to be accepted. Unless the artist is not backed by a label, a patron or well-to-do supporters, self-financing or crowdfunding are the only alternatives. As in more cases than not self-financing is beyond the realms of the possible, crowdfunding remains the only option, which seems to be catching on among musicians. So, why not join the crowd.


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