Aspiring artists take new road to stardom

Young people starting out on the path to stardom have historically begun on the road, spending their time travelling up and down the country attending gigs to boost their profile.

Even some of the biggest names in the music industry have spent time in sweaty nightclubs and run-down pubs across the country.

That, though, has now changed and big music labels have stopped investing in such acts. In part, the changing face of music can be tied to the rise of social media, which enables emerging artists to get their songs heard.

And there are also fan funding websites, including Kickstarter and PledgeMusic, both of which have proven to be invaluable to a number of bands.

PledgeMusic, for instance, has already helped to raise support more than 1,000 bands and musicians since 2009.

“The idea is that bands start a campaign with us,” Malcolm Dunbar, PledgeMusic’s UK managing director, commented.

“They set themselves a target of what they want to raise in order to finance a new album or a tour. Fans of the band then pledge money towards the project in order for it to happen.”

However, Mr Dunbar explained that such websites do not work in a way that would be considered normal in the business community.

Rather than making a conventional investment in the band, fans receive promises from the group.

“It could be anything from a hand-painted record cover to a private performance at their house,” he commented. “There’s really no limit to what can be pledged.”

Under the terms of the agreement, PledgeMusic banks 15 per cent of the money raised, but only if the full amount can be raised.

Mr Dunbar added that such an approach is needed in order for bands to thrive in the current climate in which sites like Facebook and Twitter are so influential.

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