The demand is there, the money is not.
February 8, 2008 8:19 PM   Subscribe

We have a lot of local talented artists locally, with a pretty happening music scene. Lots of these are college students with not much money, but loads of talent. Help me help them.

A couple friends of mine and I are opening a venue/record store, and we've got a fairly successful online store selling local albums and other merchandise on consignment, but there are quite a few bands that we get asked about all the time, that we don't have, because they never made one because of a lack of funding.

We think this is a shame, and want to help.

Our solution is this:

1. They need $500 to produce a CD.
2. Let's say they raise $300 on their own, but they need $200 more to produce it
3.The decide to offer preorders of their cd for $5
4. We accept preorders, but we don't charge anybody until there are 40 willing people ($5 x 40 people=$200) or the band adds some more money
5. After the goal is reached, we charge everybody the $5 and give all of it(minus 15% or so)to the band, who then makes the cd, and gives to us so we can ship out the preorders

Are there any obvious flaws with my plan? Has this been done before, It seems that I've read about it someplace else, but my googling has failed me.

Are there any other considerations I may have missed?
Is this a stupid idea, or does it have potential?
Name Suggestions? The store is called "The Station"
posted by mhp to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'd recommend against the whole CD thing. Given your situation I'd have the bands do in-store performances, record them nicely, then give them away as mp3s to drum up interest in live shows at which the bands will make more money than they would from the original CD. This will also enable them to reach more people than they would if their music was only ever located at your store. Think "McCabe's Guitar Shop."
posted by rhizome at 8:52 PM on February 8, 2008

rhizome is right. MP#'s are the way to go.

CD's aren't dead yet, but they sure smell funny.
posted by JaySunSee at 12:44 PM on February 9, 2008

In your plan, you'd still be charging people before the CD exists. What will you do if the band doesn't produce a CD after you've charged people? I'm assuming you'd refund the money out of your own pocket. It's only 200 bucks, but it'll also have all the credit transaction fees, hassle with the band and ill will from customers who feel burned.

It great that you want to support local talent. It might be easier to simply loan the band the money and get exclusive retail distribution of the CD for a period of time.
posted by 26.2 at 8:38 AM on February 11, 2008

I agree with going the MP3 route - even better, is going to start paying royalties to unsigned bands as a percentage of the ad revenue they receive from the page - see this article on TechCrunch
posted by elsagold at 3:22 PM on July 10, 2008

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