Slice the pie

I recently wrote about Sellaband who presented at Minibar in London. The site aims to raise $50k in funding for band to produce an album and investors get to share in the revenues from some of the tracks. It looked to be a lousy bet on the bands given the restricted nature of the returns. Consequently it was interesting to see a story in one of the free London papers yesterday that one band had successfully raised the money from fans.

David kindly left a blog comment pointing me in the direction of Slicethepie which he noted was launching soon and would address the issues I’d raised. Great, thought I, I’ll take a look.

Sadly, this is all I was able to learn!
Whilst I understand the principle of the “teaser”, people give a web site 5 seconds to captivate them after which they hit the back button, something Paul Lomax and I discussed yesterday. So why make it harder? Simply show me up front there is something of value here, even if it simply a description of what they are going to do.

Secondly there are no contact details or information about who is involved, yet they want me to give my email address to them – for all I know it could be a spam harvester.

Finally, given there isn’t much on the page, you’d have thought they would get the address bar title right and correctly spell the site name rather than “sliethepie”.

Oh, well. I suppose it is pre-launch.

Comment posted by John Wilson
at 3/16/2007 10:24:00 AM
Roy, you make some excellent points. If fans view it as making a “donation” or simply view it as the purchase of an album, that’s fine. I’m all in favour of pre-funded deals, which is what this amounts to for a band.

However, when I heard Sellaband pitch, they were pushing it as an investment play, which is what I was challenging. Perhaps they should promote it using more honest and realistic stance.

I do think it’s important to remember that they call it the music business for a reason. That said, both EMI and HMV are proving that may it be moving into the not-for-profit/charity sector.

Comment posted by Roy
at 3/16/2007 9:23:00 AM
In your previous post about SellaBand you said the bands get a great deal, but that the Believers (investors) got a lousy deal instead. But I don’t agree with that either. I’m one of the Believers of the third band that reached $50k a couple of days ago: Second Person.

I bought 1 part, so for that $10 I will get a Limited Edition CD, which I think is a great return on investment already. I only buy parts in bands that make music that I like, not because I think lots of people will like it as well. The rest is just an extra for me. I will get a share of the ad revenue and revenue from CD sales. Should the band go onto greatness then those Limited Edition CD’s could become collectors items, and thus more valuable.

SellaBand doesn’t rely on large investors that are in it for the money. It’s mainly for music fans, who are in it for the music. That there is a chance that some money will flow back, is just an extra. The main return is in the form of value – Limited Edition CD and all the free music downloads – instead of money return.

So in my opinion the music fans get a great deal as well, they are the main investors in this business, not your typical investor. When you look at the return on investment you shouldn’t look at money alone.



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