Sellaband CDs To Be Available On Amazon; Not As Big A Deal As You Think
from the step-in-the-right-direction dept
For all the awful stories we have around here concerning the record labels making dumb mistakes in dealing with the modern market, we’ve always been optimistic that others will figure out the new business models eventually (and what’s left of the record labels will either co-opt those models or die). There are certainly a few interesting companies out there, experimenting with a variety of models — and one of the most interesting has been Sellaband. The Amsterdam-based company has put in place a more formalized version of a model that’s been discussed for years: getting a wide variety of fans to pony up small amounts of money into a pool, which the band can then use to record, press and distribute its album. Sellaband has done a few nice things on top of that. Everyone who ponies up for a “share” has the potential of getting some money back from sales of the albums or from ad revenue from the band’s page. The music is still given away for free for promotional purposes, and there are a number of other nice features as well — including letting the band (rather than the company) retain the rights to the music after a certain time period. While some folks may never get their money back, they’re still supporting the music, and at least there’s a chance they’d get their money back, rather than shipping it off to an RIAA label.
Of course, the big trick for an outfit like Sellaband is getting that critical mass of users, and certainly a deal with Amazon.com could help, which is why it was exciting to see a bunch of headlines indicating that Amazon has now partnered with Sellaband. However, the details suggest this may not be as big a deal as various blogs and press outlets are making it out to be. It doesn’t sound like this is really Amazon supporting the Sellaband process — just selling the completed CDs that Sellaband releases. That’s really not such a big deal, as it’s not all that hard to get your CDs sold via Amazon. In fact, while the announcements keep saying that Amazon “announced a partnership” with Sellaband, the details suggest that Sellaband simply secured distribution through Amazon via Digital Orchard — who helps lots of musicians sell their stuff on Amazon. Amazon doesn’t seem to have a press release up or anything — so it may just be Sellaband “announcing” things and the press misinterpreting it (though, Sellaband did get a quote from someone at Amazon). It would be a lot more powerful if the rest of the Sellaband process was available via Amazon and if Amazon were really bought into the process, rather than just offering a simple retail outlet that almost anyone can sign up for. Also, while many are saying that this covers all of Amazon, it appears that it’s really only for Amazon UK. Overall, this isn’t a bad thing, but it may not be as big a deal as some think it is.