A forward thinking article on an application of the Long Tail for individual artists. Find 1,000 true fans, cultivate them and and make a nice living giving them what they want. Brilliant!
Or consider what recording artist Jill Sobule is doing:
Typically recording artists get an advance from the label to produce a new album, but Jill is taking a different approach. She is in search of $75,000 to create her next project and going directly to her fans with incentives for help. At this point they have responded in a big way with over 60K being donated. I think it is an incredible idea, especially for those artists who have a strong and passionate fan base. The time for innovation is now.
Check out the donation levels for fans:
- $10 – Unpolished Rock (but with potential) Level: A free digital download of the album, when it’s released.
- $25 – Polished Rock Level: An advance copy of the CD. Weeks before the masses.
- $50 – Pewter Level: An advance copy and a “Thank You” on the CD.
- $100 – Copper Level: All the above, plus a T-shirt saying you’re a junior executive producer on the album.
- $200 – Bronze Level: Free admission to my shows for 2008.
- $250 – Silver Level: All the above, plus a membership to the “Secret Society Producer’s Club,” which means you’ll get a secret password to a website where I’ll post some rough tracks, or… something worthwhile.
- $500 – Gold Level:This is where it gets good! At the end of my CD, I’ll do a fun instrumental track where I’ll mention your name and maybe rhyme with it. And if you don’t want your name used, you can give me a loved one’s instead. What a great gift!
- $750 – Gold Doubloons Level: Exactly like the gold level, but you give me more money.
- $1,000 – Platinum Level: How would you like to have a theme song written for you? I’ll have a song you can put on your answering machine and show off. Again, this could be a gift.
- $2,500 – Emerald Level:Mentioned as an executive producer of the album — whoop-di-doo!
- $5,000 — Diamond Level: I will come and do a house concert for you. Invite your friends, serve some drinks, bring me out and I sing. Actually, this level is a smart choice economically. I’ve played many house concerts where the host has charged his guests and made his money back. I’d go for this if I were you.
- $10,000 – Weapons-Grade Plutonium Level: You get to come and sing on my CD. Don’t worry if you can’t sing – we can fix that on our end. Also, you can always play the cowbell.