Consumer Funded Music the Next Big Thing?

I was listening to an NPR podcast and they profiled Jill Sobule’s new record that was funded by fans and consumers.  Jill raised $75,000 from her fans and one person actually paid $10,000 to sing on a track.

Click here for the story on

Pretty cool concept.  It’s kind of like an entertainment version of Kiva.  It’s a perfect solution for all of those non-mainstream musicians who are getting killed on declining record sales and need to play live shows and find non-traditional revenue.  Of course you have to record new music to stay relevant and that’s not cheap.

Of course all of this has me wondering how it applies to marketing brands and starting businesses.  I’m still piecing that together in my mind.  Any thoughts/ideas from anyone out there?


One thought on “Consumer Funded Music the Next Big Thing?

  1. Neal, here’s my thoughts:

    I think there’s a parallel here between people paying to have someone record and people paying for just about any other product. The underlying idea is that when you buy most products you get the product itself and little else. Here you have Jill inviting people in and letting them have a part of the process. Even if they just gave $5 these people have a story to tell. When they’re listening to the album later (which will probably sound better than anything they’ve heard before since they were a part of making it) they can (and most likely will) tell friends about how they helped to make the album a reality. That’s a great word of mouth story.

    How this ties back in with marketing and branding is the idea of selling someone an experience and a relationship rather than just a product. Sure, I could just take your $10 and give you a bag of dog food, but what if I contacted you (with your permission, of course) and talked to you about your dog and how it liked the food and what we could do to improve it. You’d be hooked on that brand because that brand would have invited you in and let you be a part of the process. I think that’s what brands have to do to stay competitive anymore–invited consumers in and make them feel like they’re a part of the process rather than just a customer

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