Media Money with Julia Boorstin

Sellaband: Music You Can Move To And Invest With

There's no question that the music industry needs help: CD sales were down 15 percent from 2006 to 2007, and are on a continual downward slide. Because of this crunch, there's an openness to new ways to make money. One new concept comes from someone who has no experience in the music industry--his background is in oil. It seems his angle is to treat talent like a commodity.

At web company, singers basically are treated like publicly traded companies. Thousands of musicians have signed up on this stock market of sort. Here's how it works: Performers sign up, create a profile, upload some of their songs; investors can then cruise the site, listening for a bankable sound, and they can purchase shares. The site calls investors "believers," as they're banking on the band's potential success.

As soon as an artist's funds hit the $50,000 mark, the musician gains access to the investment. And the funds are split between recording costs, printing and album distribution. Then CD sales, download profits, and ad revenues on the site are split between the artist, investors, and Sellaband.

This is clearly a niche business. But it just goes to show how average Joes want to have a personal investment--and interest--in their investment. And it shows how eager musicians are to find an alternate route to rock stardom.

Cut the Chord

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