Now here’s an idea that raises the phrase ‘investment opportunity’ by a couple octaves — purchase a stake in the career of an indie music artist. In exchange for your largess, you’ll gain a say in marketing and producing the singer. You can even pitch them a song.
It’s an intriguing concept. Why settle for money-market funds when your investment could blossom into the next Kylie Minogue or, a bit more realistically, the next Angus and Julia Stone?
The investment plan is the brainchild of Australian innovators Darren Mullan of Wrap it Records and Matilda Bawden of Grace Bawden Productions. The duo from Five Dock, NSW, say this spread-the-wealth approach will help independent producers overcome the sometimes daunting costs of recording music and of marketing the artists.
Investors can get aboard for as little as $2,500 a song. They earn a voice in decisions about that song, including choices of writers, musicians and producers. On the flip side, writers, composers, producers and artists can hand-pick the talent pool with which they’ll create their music.
In a news release, Bawden says she dreamed up the revenue plan — she and Mullan prefer to call it a partnership model — after being lobbied persistently by songwriters lyricists who wanted to collaborate with Bawden’s 17-year-old daughter, Grace, an operatic soprano who was a finalist on the 2008 edition of Australia’s Got Talent. Here’s the clip:
Grace Bawden, Australia’s Got Talent
Bawden doggedly pursued independent avenues in an effort to produce and market her talented daughter. She eventually joined forces with Mullan. Their first test of the investment model came with Grace’s recent cover of The Killers’ hit ‘Human’.
Bawden and Mullan say their invest-in-an-indie model:
- Enables people to purchase a share of potential royalties to a song.
- Guarantees the music will be recorded on a CD for commercial marketing and licensing.
- Multiplies the effect of marketing efforts by giving fair-use rights to investors to sell or promote the artist’s products.
“We’re not recording demos. This is the real deal,” Mullan says in the news release. “It’s time to take back the control. If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?”
Image by Bengt Nyman