by Mike Masnick
Fri, Apr 10th 2009 9:22am
Andrew Moffat from the site Musicslu writes in to let us know about its service, which is effectively a tool to let musicians get fans to "pre-fund" their releases. We've talked about such models in the past -- and it's similar to what Jill Sobule did last year. Other musicians have done it as well, but Musicslu tries to make it easier for artists. Basically, the band announces how much it needs to raise to release its album, and fans pledge money. No one actually pays until the full pledge number is hit -- and then once it's hit, the music is released for everyone totally free (covered by a Creative Commons license that encourages sharing). They've put up a YouTube video explaining how it works:
Again, this isn't an entirely new idea, but it's nice to see a tool that makes it easier for artists who don't want to go through the hassle of setting it all up themselves. I'm sure some folks will complain that this sort of model only encourages "free loaders," but that ignores the reality. The band gets to set exactly how much it needs to make from the album, and be guaranteed that amount. If there's freeloaders after that fact, so what? If the band really builds up a huge following, then the next time around it can set a higher price. Besides, the band can continue to make money by selling other scarcities.
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