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wemakeit: "We Are Happy To Take On Creative Projects From Europe"

Published December 21 2014.

  by Mario

A while ago we talked with The bianca Story when they were digging a hole through music industry on wemakeit.ch. Now we have interviewed Rea Eggli, one of the co-founders of wemakeit. We talked about why musicians should join the platform and the Swisscom Music Booster for Swiss bands and musicians ...

50K MUSIC: When have you started wemakeit and what were the reasons for that?
Rea: We went online with wemakeit beginning of 2012 as the first reward based crowdfunding platform in switzerland, which answers also the question about the reason why: we wanted to bring crowdfunding to Switzerland!

50K MUSIC: ... and how's business so far?
Rea: We had an excellent start and are pleased with the development so far. And have a handful to do.

50K MUSIC: There are a number of crowdfunding platforms in Europe nowadays. Where do you see the pros of wemakeit?
Rea: Wemakeit focusses on creative projects and has the highest success rate of the german speaking countries and probably also one of the highest if not the highest in Europe with almost 70%. We offer the project initiators free consulting online as well as in workshops or one-to-one meetings if required and requested. We are multilingual (as so is Switzerland) and have a team in the french speaking part of Switzerland, one in the german speaking part of Switzerland where our Headquarters are, and people working for us on the grounds in Berlin and new also in Vienna.

Read more: wemakeit: "We Are Happy To Take On Creative Projects From Europe"

Patreon - A New Player Pursueing A New Crowdfunding Approach

Published on January 28 2014.

  by Mario

Jack Conte, co-founder of Patreon and one half of Pomplamoose, talks about the benefits for artists and what you can look forward to when signing up to the new service. 

A few days ago I've stumbled upon a new website which I thought you, as an artist, could be interested in - Patreon.com. Patreon leaves the old project-focussed Kickstarter-like approach behind and starts with a modern way of patronage where artists get regular monthly payments from supporters.

Read more: Patreon - A New Player Pursueing A New Crowdfunding Approach

The Rise Of Metal Music Crowdfunding In 2013

The end of the year is in sight. And Jonathan looks back at a year of Metal music crowdfunding. Published December 20 2013.

  by Jonathan

2013 was truly the year of crowdfunding, for better or worse, and while the rise in sourcing your project funding from the public is not exclusive to music, the growth of bands using the likes of Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, and the music specific PledgeMusic, has been a little overwhelming.

It’s proven to be a divisive subject with valid arguments being yelled from both sides of the garden fence. Should a band have the gall to ask for money from fans? Or is it just a more democratic process of releasing music without labels involved? Advocates will find solace and vindication in a number of successful campaigns that were run this year, namely Protest the Hero’s hugely successful IndieGoGo project to fund their fourth full-length Volition.

The Canadian techy metallers had been with Vagrant Records for years but had opted for independence for album number four, perhaps a nod to their DIY hardcore roots, but more so an acknowledgement of the “future” of the music industry. With a target of $125,000 (a hefty goal, regardless of band) in mind, fans could contribute to the funding with a number of more out-there incentives up for grabs, like a pizza party with the band. Of course, if they didn’t reach their goal, all the money would be refunded.

This concern didn’t even factor into the equation, they sourced the money in less than 24 hours and continued to generate a substantial surplus from their (as it would appear, quite generous) fans.

You can hold this up as a positive sign that crowdfunding in 2013 worked and that’s fine and dandy, but always take into consideration that Protest the Hero are an established band, they released three full-lengths prior, and toured with bands like Killswitch Engage and In Flames, so they had a fan base to call on for this project. One of the many pitfalls that crowdfunding can create is an inflated sense of accomplishment, which is why crowdfunding can fail for younger bands, as well as not-so-popular reunions like reformed nu metal band, Orgy.

To the surprise of some, Orgy are still knocking around and back in August, they pined for $100,000 from their fans for a new EP, along with touring costs, a music video, and “the framework” for establishing a label. Clearly the band was unaware of their sparse fan base upon the launch of their IndieGoGo campaign and fell a staggering $93,000 short of their goal.

But to move to something a little more contemporary, Lucas Mann, guitarist of Californian deathcore band Rings of Saturn attempted a solo album campaign, asking for $20,000, for what would essentially be an instrumental tech metal album, much like the sea of identikit djent and bedroom projects.

This relatively vast amount of money was simply out of Mann’s reach for a solo record, especially when it’s unlikely that such money would even be allocated for Rings of Saturn from their label to record an album. It was immediately apparent to fans and the IndieGoGo campaign failed in stunning fashion; and accusations of Rings of Saturn recording their records at half speed and then speeding it up in the mixing didn’t help his reputation either.

The failure of Orgy and Lucas Mann showed up one fatal misunderstanding of crowdfunding – it’s not a silver bullet. Protest the Hero, who still had criticism levelled against them, and other successes like Chimaira and death metal legends Obituary leveraged their fan bases with campaigns that were built on the bands’ previous relationships with fans.

The misunderstanding is that setting up a campaign will yield some easy money. Given the criticisms that crowdfunding faces, the really successful campaigns have to prove themselves as more than worthy of your cash before a note of music has been recorded and this is why established bands have succeeded more so.

Further proof lies in the campaign from German alt. rockers Die Happy, who celebrated their 20th anniversary with a PledgeMusic fund for a new record and music video with the basic incentives like copies of the record but also several collectors’ items that were clearly aimed at the noble fans that have been with the band throughout their 20 years. Their campaign was a success.

With all this talk of successes and failures, you would almost thing that crowdfunding success was out of reach for younger, lesser-known bands. However, Russia-by-way-of-Norway tech death metallers Defect Designer succeeded with a modest campaign of €1,500, for a record that will include guest musicians like Cryptopsy’s Flo Mounier.

Also, with Lucas Mann’s project in mind, don’t feel like solo side projects are doomed to fail. Hannes Grossmann, of German prog metallers Obscura and tech metal trio Blotted Science, successfully crowdfunded his new solo record The Radial Covenant, gathering together €4,000 for the project that includes Jeff Loomis and Ron Jarzombek.

Let’s remember that crowdfunding, in the grand scheme of things, is still a new phenomenon and in the realm of music, it still has a lot of creases to iron out, meanwhile major labels may look at it as a fad that can be hopped on for now, like Universal attempting a campaign for a vinyl reissue of Nirvana’s Unplugged.

Crowdfunding can be called independent and DIY and it is to a great extent but bands are still looking for outside help. However, it is ‘investment’ from genuinely interested parties, ones that actually want this record to see the light of the day and with bands like Protest the Hero and Die Happy laying out effective ways of utilising the platform, expect to see even more bigger names look to crowdfunding in 2014.

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Zoshpit: "We're Here For The Long Run"

Thanks Julian for answering my questions. Wish you good luck with your venture guys. Published on June 11 2013.

  by Mario

Good news for all Indie Musicians in Down Under. Today Zoshpit, the first and only Australian music crowdfunding platform, opened its doors. "ZoshPit’s mission is to revolutionise the Australian music industry by offering a platform tailored to the needs of artists, bands and musicians.", Julian Chong and Paul Batten, Co-Founders of Zoshpit, stated in their press release today. I talked to Julian about their plans for the platform and the opportunities for artists to crowdfund and sell their music on the platform ...

50K MUSIC: Zoshpit is a quite unusual name. What does it mean?
Julian: If you've ever had children, you'll know how difficult settling on a name can be. It wasn't much different for ZoshPit. We've both got a boy each, Josh and Zen. We combined the two and ended up with Zosh. Then Paul (the bright one) said, "How about ZoshPit? It's got music feel". When I heard it and then saw the logo he designed, I knew it was the one.

50K MUSIC: Who had the idea of founding Zoshpit?
Julian: We both have backgrounds in marketing, technology and social media with keen interests in music. Personally I have a few mates in the industry who always appear to be applying for funding, some successful, some not.

It seemed like Australia really was in need of its own platform. When we floated the idea with friends in the industry they all loved it.

Read more: Zoshpit: "We're Here For The Long Run"

Direct-To-Fan Instead Of Fan-Funding

This interview with Benji Rogers has originally been published on August 23 2011.

  by Mario

Over the last few weeks Pledgemusic attracted attention with projects of some well-known musicians like Cornershop, Dave McPherson and The Subways. I asked them for an interview and Benji Rogers, one of the co-founders, provides us with a deep insight into Pledgemusic's corporate philosophy:

50K MUSIC: You started Pledgemusic together with your mates Rupert, Jayce and Jann back in 2008. What are your experiences during these two and a half years? Would you do it again?
Benji: It has been an amazing ride for sure, and personally I am still reeling from it all. I went from being a musician to running a music company seemingly overnight. The best part about the day to day is that I am working with an incredible team of people who deeply care about the music and the musicians that we are helping. What we do seems simple from the outside but ask anyone who has worked with us and you'll see that there is allot more under the hood than just a fundraising platform and so there's allot to get right. I would do it over again in a heart beat but this time with more sleep for sure.

50K MUSIC: What does Pledgemusic offer musicians once they've joined?
Benji: From the outset we knew that we couldn't build just a website. We set out to build a music company. So from signup to fulfilment our artists are guided through what is essentially a digital marketing campaign that assists with growing the existing database, consolidating the social networks, a data capture strategy & the actual writing of the campaigns. Whilst live the system and the team work with each artist to make sure that the campaign runs smoothly and in short has the best chance of succeeding. There is allot to this process and we can make it easier. Most artists realise that they do not want to look desperate or needy and as such we will guide the message of the campaign to focus on the Pledgers only updates page i.e. the place within the site from which the artist rewards their fans for their participation. We are currently batting a 75% success rate across the platform which means that you have a really good chance at succeeding with your campaign goals. We're a friendly bunch too and so we go above and beyond to help out in matters beyond just the campaign where ever we can.

Read more: Direct-To-Fan Instead Of Fan-Funding

Musicraiser: A Personalized Service 7 Days A Week

Thanks to Giovanni Gulino, co-founder of Musicraiser, and the guys there, especially Daniel who made this interview possible. Published on April 04 2013.

  by Mario

Musicraiser is a new player on the field of music crowdfunding. Based in Milan, Italy, they support Indie musicians with their platform. First projects mostly came from Italy but they're also open for musicians from all across the planet. I talked to Giovanni Gulino, co-founder of Musicraiser, about their first months in this business and their further plans...

50K MUSIC: You've started Musicraiser in August last year. How's business so far?
Giovanni: We went online 5 months ago, and we have already funded approximately 70 projects for a total amount raised of € 180,000. As for the collection of musical projects, we are among the first European platforms in the number of projects being financed.

50K MUSIC: There are a number of music crowdfunding platforms in Europe nowadays. Why have you founded another one?
Giovanni: There are many platforms, it is true, but the majority are generic crowdfunding ones with a section devoted to music that is no different from other sections such as fashion or comics. There are few vertical platforms exclusively focused on music. Within these, there are a few record companies disguised by crowdfunding platforms. Musicraiser is a pure crowdfunding site founded by musicians and professionals of the music business. We feel that we can understand, better than others, the needs and expectations of the musicians who open a fundraising campaign.

Read more: Musicraiser: A Personalized Service 7 Days A Week

100 Days Of New Sellaband - Five Questions To Michael Bogatzki

This interview has originally been published on Aug 22 2011

  by Mario

In February this year Michael Bogatzki took over the job as the new SellaBand CEO. Since the New SellaBand has started he had to solve a number of problems. After his first 100 days it was time to ask him a few questions.

50K MUSIC: A little bit more than 100 days ago you took over the job of SellaBand CEO. Do you regret this step with hindsight?
Michael: Not at all! It has been and still is a great challenge and I´m happy that we´ve managed the takeover and the first 100 days together with a vast majority of the Believers and Artists.

50K MUSIC: What was the hardest challenge for you after the new start?
Michael: I would say that all the regulatory and legal issues have been most challenging, since this is something you can not completely influence. On the one hand you have to follow certain rules and requirements and on the other hand you are looking for a creative an positive way to realize a workable solution. Beside of this it wasn't always easy to find the right priority because there are so many demands and interests we have to take care of.

Read more: 100 Days Of New Sellaband - Five Questions To Michael Bogatzki