Have I blogged about SellaBand before? Basically an artist signs up and then tries to get 5,000 people ("believers") to donate $10 towards the recording of a CD.

It's been getting some decent press so I was wondering why I'm not doing it. I went to sign up tonight and read the following in the conditions:

  • Once an Artist has officially reached the Goal of $50,000 he/she is obliged to fulfill the recording commitment with SellaBand. Of the $50,000, $30,000 will be used for recording the CD. SellaBand will assign an A&R- manager who will book the producer, studio and mastering facility. The rest of the budget will be used for manufacturing, packaging and posting the 5,000 CDs for your Believers.
  • SellaBand will own the Album Master for 12 months after completion of the recording of the CD. After one full year you will get the full rights to the Album Master.
  • Only for the songs you will record with SellaBand you must sign a Publishing Agreement with SellaBand. In this agreement 60% of the publishing rights of these songs go to you. 10% goes to the Production team. The rest (30%) goes to SellaBand.

That seems crappy to me. So I raise $50,000 and SellABand decides who my producer, studio and mastering facility is? So the artist has no input into that? And no doubt they're not paying them the full $30,000. ($30k is a shitload of recording and I assume they're only going to refer you to studios and producers they have previous deals with.)

SellaBand owns the masters for 12 months so you're not doing jack with it outside of SellaBand for a year. And then you're tied to giving SellaBand and the production team 40% of your songs forever.

I dunno, I want $50,000 as much as the next guy, but it doesn't seem worth it to me.

businessBrad Turcotte