Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Natty's Fan Funding - Brilliant Or A Scam?

As if we didn't need more evidence that the era of the major record label is over, now comes this. Atlantic Records is asking the fans of trip-hop artist Natty to fund a release. The company as teamed up with the fan-funding platform Pledge Music to try to make this happen.

My first reaction to this news was, "Is Atlantic (really it's parent Warner Music Group) in that bad a shape that it can't afford to fund a record?"

My second thought was, "The audacity of the company to even think of such a thing. If they can't even provide the budget for a record, why be on the label at all? What good are they?"

But then I examined the story a bit to find that this outside funding is actually not for Natty's second Atlantic album at all. It's for a separate stripped down collection of songs. Could this be a brilliant PR move?

Here's why it just might be a lot smarter move than the music pundits think:

1) I'm posting about it now, and it's been all over the music press this week. What better way to get some publicity before the album is released?

2) The press and the buzz will be on-going as everyone keeps track of just how much is raised. It's a no-lose proposition. If he doesn't raise enough, he's in the news. If he meets his goal, he's in the news.

3) Natty will have another set of songs to release as soon as the momentum dies down of the real album. He could release the songs as a collection, or he can release them one at a time online. Either way, it doesn't impact the real album at all except call attention to it.

4) It allows Natty to make a lot of other PR moves that he couldn't other wise. All of the extras that most artists do for a fan-funded record can be employed here, all keeping his name in the news. For instance, Natty will give a private acoustic concert in your own home for £600 - £5,000, all the way up to Natty remixing your track for for £1,200.

The downside - It's been reported that Atlantic won't be sharing any profit from the record with the fans that paid for it. Now that's a scam.

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