Sellaband has made amazing headway since it started over two years ago. I remember having posted a little update on its progress back in August when it partnered with sites like Youlicense and the CellFreak having already funded 24 bands, 14 of whom had produced their albums. Now 27 artists have reached the $50k mark. That’s about an artist a month generating tens of thousands of dollars thanks to online communities.
I believe one of the reasons they’ve gotten so big is their ability to reach out to their bands’ fans creating an all-powerful community and maintaining it.
Sellaband is everything but a static website and they could’ve done nothing else but just make the platform work and sit back. Fortunately that’s never what they had in mind. They’ve engaged partnerships with big corporations like Amazon, Heineken and The Orchard. They’ve created competitions like Sixpack encouraging the community to select weekly artists. They capitalized on believers who love to follow their bands by centralizing blogs, podcasts and websites who report what’s going on. You can sign up to internet groups, participate in community writings, go into dedicated Sellaband chat rooms to learn all you need to know about the service, its bands and their development. They even have elaborated an island in SecondLife where artists perform and meet-and-greet.
Now Sellaband’s latest little adventure is getting their bands signed up to huge summer festivals in the world’s biggest arenas (Yea, talk about entrepreneurialship). Based on a competition whereby bands will have to sign-up, meet certain basic criterias and go through different voting stages, the ArenaFest offers 180 winning slots for small indie bands to accomplish their wildest dream (hah! sorry for the cheezy catch phrase, but seriously that’s kind of what it is. There’s a difference between playing in a festival for instance where a drunken audience is wondering from stage to stage, and playing in a 10 to 30 000 seat arena where you’re the only act the public is focusing on).
First, bands will need at least 200 believers and/or at least a $10k budget in their ongoing Sellaband campaigns (which apparently isn’t that hard to come by :). Then they’ll be asked to perform somewhere and be judged by some Sellaband scouts. If selected they’ll have to play in front of another jury. Seems tough but seeing how 180 slots are available, I would think step one is probably the hardest to achieve. Check out how it works in further detail here.
Anyways, there has been a lot of talk about how the benefits of social networking and music 2.0 have been overrated, and the time-consuming tasks to make them worthwhile constitute an important obstacle to just composing music and concentrating on more important aspects of one’s musical career.
Well one thing Sellabands proves to us is that online community building can deliver outstanding results.
mruff, woof wouaf, miaou, roar, moooo, pwieek pwieek.