Sunday, October 17, 2010

Crowdsourced A&R

Everyone knows about crowdsourcing and crowdfunding, but now there's a new way to use the power of the crowd when it comes to music - crowd A&R.  Hard rock and metal label Roadrunner Records has just launched SignMeTo Roadrunner Records, which they call a "fun and functional way for fans and unsigned bands to participate in the music industry's A&R process."

The way it works is that fans sign up as "scouts" and unsigned bands that add profiles and songs are rated by them. The site currently has about 6,000 active band profiles and about 10,000 scouts.

Tagging is a critical element of the process, as it classifies the artists in Roadrunner's genre-specific charts. and applied tags help to drive genre-specific charts (see the chart on the left for an example).  The top-charting artists are the ones that have a chance of getting signed.

This is a brilliant move by Roadrunner for a couple of reasons:

1) Their risk is significantly lowered by signing an artist or band that the "scouts" already like.

2) The artist or band already has built a significant following as a result of the process.

This is a great example of a record label that gets the essence of Music 3.0.

You can sign up as a band or scout here.

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