Crowdbands Offers Interactive Artist Development
January 19, 2011 at 4:29 AM (PT)
A new company, CROWDBANDS, has taken the concept of "crowdsourcing" and applied it to artist development. For a $25 fee, members will have the opportunity to decide, by voting, on the creation and promotion of the next record by THE DONNAS.
Member will hear the album's songs as they are being recorded, with the possibility of deciding on what single to release, what CD cover to use and where to go on tour. They will also get the album before its official release date and get "exclusive access to VIP content."
CROWDBANDS was founded by TOM SARIG, current ESTHER CREATIVE GROUP Pres. and former A&R Exec at MCA RECORDS, TVT RECORDS, ARISTA and A&M; and PETER SORGENFREI, who runs his own marketing research company and was formerly a WALL STREET analyst.
The two came up with the concept about 18 months ago. "It started as a very specific idea," SARIG said. "We started to compile a short list of our favorite bands that were available and had established a reputation for being exceptional. We started talking to bands as we were developing the website. Several bands responded very positively to the idea of CROWDBANDS; we picked THE DONNAS because we’re very passionate about them and thought they would be a good partner for us."
When it comes to soliciting membership, the duo initially will "have THE DONNAS share it with their existing their fan base through different channels such as FACEBOOK and MYSPACE," SORGENFREI said. "We haven’t done much yet in terms of spreading the word. We’re trying to see who would gravitate to our concept and help make great music with THE DONNAS. We expect to use social media platforms, such as FACEBOOK and TWITTER, as well as the traditional mass media through SNEAK ATTACK."
The duo refrained from citing the size of their current membership, asserting, "The metrics for success is not based in the size of the membership number, but in working together to put together a great record for THE DONNAS," SORGENFREI said. "We’re not really concerned about sheer numbers, but in the quality of participation in the interactive experience."
Regarding when the interactivity begins, SARIG noted, "We haven’t revealed the new music to our members yet; we’re waiting until THE DONNAS feel ready to do it. But at some point we are going to involve our members in some fashion with hearing music and commenting on it. We have list lot of topics and decisions that THE DONNAS pre-approved as ways to interact with members. It’s a daily conversation with members and daily interaction with the band."
Regarding how many bands will be used at once, SARIG said an optimum number would be three to five bands at once. "This us not a 'one band at a time' thing; we’d love to have a few bands at a time, but we plan to grow organically and naturally,