Yesterday fan-funded model Slicethepie announced a global partnership with social network Bebo. The deal brings an interesting twist to the evolution of these fan funded models in that it means artist who successfully secure funding via Slice the pie will receive money to record an album, promotion on the Bebo homepage and potential featured artist exposure.
According to the press release the teaming up with Bebo will enable artist to get exposure to the “over 50 million strong” Bebo community. Bebo will also apparently act as sponsor for an album launch event. The full package includes the aforementioned as well as “guaranteed exposure” to key A&R executives at major and independent labels.
Going further it is claimed that the Bebo package is worth more than £50,000. TMV do have to question this valuation as it is no doubt probably based on retail rate card expenditure which we all know no media agency worth their salt ever pays…also the package is not applicable to all Slicethepie artists only those picked for Bebo showcase and who go on to win them.
TMV have spoken to a well know producer who has produced some albums for Slicethepie artists has clearly stated to me that even though the band got £15K to record an album in the end he was left with £8K to hire a studio and produce an international standard recording. Overall, he stated too many corners had to be cut and this obviously adversely affects the end product. As far as I’m aware he does not want to do any more recordings in conjunction with artists from Slicethepie as he stated that if you cannot get a reasonable budget is it not worth compromising your standards.
Whilst this new announcement does show some positives in terms of the promotional tie-up, which although yes is important to a success full release, it does not fully address the key fact that to successfully break a band it is essential to tour. Furthermore, touring is expense and a loss leader for a period until a band breaks through. In TMVs mind this is a critical weakness of Slicethepie’s model and should be addressed. Any promoters and/or booking agents willing to do partnership deals with Slicethepie?
We realize that competitor fan-funded model, Sellaband, recently concluded a deal with a large promoter of stadium concerts in America. However, artists need to be worked from the ground up and many a promoter will tell you putting unknown bands on a support slot with massive stadium acts does not bring any viable benefits in the short to medium term of an artist’s live career. TMV does feel very strongly that for artists to carve serious and long-term income making careers out of these fan-funded models, their needs to be a serious opportunity to tour, tour and tour!