SellaBand, the Amsterdam-based "virtual" home for emerging, unsigned bands, is scheduled to launch its downloadable music portal this June.

The venture invites unsigned acts to upload their recordings to its Web site, while consumers visiting the site are free to listen to tracks, discover new songs and select artists they believe have potential commercial future.

As soon as the artists raise the maximum investment of $50,000 each, they enter into an agreement with SellaBand that leads to professional recordings of their works. In return for their investments, the fans -- also known as "believers" -- will receive exclusive CD copies of the recording. Believers can invest a minimum of $10 in the act.

The funds are paid by credit card to SellaBand, which holds the cash in an escrow account.

Launched last August, SellaBand already boasts two acts to have collected the required $50,000: Nemesea, an all-girl Dutch goth-rock band, and Cubworld, a U.S. singer/songwriter from Utah.

Nemesea is soon expected to begin recording at Belgium-based Galaxy Studios, while Cubworld is likely to record his album in New York.

"Nemesea has already lined up its production team, which includes U.K. producer Tony Platt, to start recording in March," SellaBand managing director Johan Vosmeijer tells Billboard.biz.

Revenue is generated by the advertising sold around each artist's microsite, where the music is downloadable for free for at least one year. One third of the revenue goes to the act, another third to its believers, and the remaining third to SellaBand.

Among the next acts expected to achieve the $50,000 goal later this year are U.K.-based hip-hop act Second Person and French singer/songwriter Clemence.

"We believe 10 acts will make it in 2007," Pim Betist, SellaBand's creative director, adds.

In addition to the download portal for completed recordings, there will be a section devoted to works currently being recorded, and another for SellaBand acts that have raised their first $1,000. Content at these sections will be streamed only.

By January, SellaBand had raised a combined $350,000-plus from about 7,000 Believers for 1,858 artists, says Vosmeijer, a former managing director of Sony Music Benelux' Epic and Columbia labels.

To raise awareness of its acts, SellaBand held its first concert on Jan. 7 at Amsterdam-based venue Paradiso where Nemesea, Cubworld, Second Person and French act The Fakes performed before ticket-holding investors.

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