Have you always wanted to be the antagonist in Pink Floyd's "Have a Cigar"? Now's your chance.
A new U.K. venture, Bandstocks, is making mini-moguls of the music masses, allowing people to invest in up-and-coming bands and share in the proceeds. Bandstocks joins a small but growing group of related companies .
According to a Wednesday article in the Guardian:
Bandstocks will let the public buy a stake in an artist in 10 pound (roughly $18) increments. Once funding reaches a preordained level, for example 100,000 pounds, the money will be released for the act to record an album.
Investors will get a copy of the album, a credit on the CD sleeve and a percentage of the profits from its sale and licensing. They will also get priority ticket booking and the opportunity to buy limited edition releases. For the artist, founder Andrew Lewis claimed that Bandstocks would offer a better return than a major-label deal, as well as more freedom and control over copyright.
It's a pretty cool idea, though music discovery remains nettlesome. That is, who will discover hot new bands? Assuming the answer is Bandstocks, the model defeats the purpose behind Bandstocks, as it would stand to make a great deal more money on its hit bands if it managed them alone, rather than sharing in the wealth with the masses.
Even so, it will be fun to see if Bandstocks can deliver the goods. So far it has two bands in which fans can invest. Me? I'm waiting for the next Radiohead. Once Bandstocks has someone like that in the wings, I'll invest.