Guest Post: How Crowdfunding is Reinventing Music | finder.com.au
Words by Fred Schebesta | Co-founder & Director at finder.com.au
finder.com.au’s Fred Schebesta gives us an insight on his theory surrounding crowdfunding in the music industry.
Ten years ago, the idea of getting people to pay for something that hadn’t even happened yet could’ve landed you in jail for being a con-artist. Fast-forward a decade and crowdsourcing is not only making music and content more accessible, it’s also virtually destroyed any gaps inbetween.
For a bit of background, I founded a personal loan comparison site during a time when emerging tech was downright scary – because no one was using them yet. Being a self-confessed tech and internet junkie, I was introduced to the idea of crowdfunding quite early on in the piece and knew it would catch on, even if not in my own industry. When it hit the music landscape, I rejoiced that there might finally be a way to experience a closer relationship with musicians than the three sneaky bonus tracks they slipped onto their albums.
I knew crowdfunding would work back then, and in today’s market, musicians using crowdfunding are not only likely to have more success – they’re more likely to actually be better musicians. Here’s why:
- We’ve created the ‘Musician Middle Class’
This is the most exciting aspect of crowdfunding. The industry has finally stripped the labels and fancy packaging away and are finally delivering raw, high-quality music in unforeseen quantities. Previously it was up to the creators to make themselves ‘label-worthy’ before they were picked up, but now we’re seeing talent recruiters scrambling to get their hands on new players in the field who are making their own music.
From a business perspective, record labels have drastically lowered the once-ridiculous expectations of how talent is expected to act, and opened up the ‘business’ side of music to people who are genuinely good at making music. Now that people can go to a site and say ‘hey, I like this sound and I’m going to invest in this guy’ at the push of a button, we’re enabling a richer music culture.
- The relationships between audience and artist is now so intimate
Music has a pretty checkered history. In a traditional sense, artists were always a little distanced from their audience. Crowdfunding destroys this barrier because it’s the crowd’s participation that actually brings the events and experiences to life.
This also works in the crowd’s favour as artists are generally a grateful bunch – they’re going to go above and beyond at their next concert because they know it’s the audience’s sheer determination and precious dollars that got them there.
- Artists of a feather, flock together
Perhaps the most heartwarming aspect of crowdfunding is that most crowdfunded artists love each other. From the get-go, they don’t size each other up by their sponsors and money isn’t a talking point. When you go to a crowdfunding site, there’s one key example of this: the big names are listed right alongside the guys who have just opened applications to their first-ever event. This equalises the playing field for everyone and allows those people who aren’t millionaires to get real, honest feedback and support around their talents and passions.
Crowdfunding is more than just a method of payment, it’s a mechanism that will see the music industry become a faster, more intimate and accepting industry. Music is something humans as a species are drawn to, and due to the opportunities that crowdfunding allows it’s now the case that more human dreams and aspirations survive.