Talenthouse has made headlines the last few months conducting crowdsourcing campaigns for artists seeking new creative vendors. This momentum has led to a label-wide deal with Universal Music Group, which will use Talenthouse's platform to conduct fan-engagement contests.
The Talenthouse platform lets artists hold competitions for things like a new T-shirt designs, cover art images, etc. The artist simply chooses what they want fans to submit, and Talenthouse hosts the submissions, which other fans can then review and vote for via Facebook.
An example of a recent campaign is Deadmau5 asking fans to design his new mouse helmet. Florence and the Machine had fans design a dress for a performance. Queen asked fans to design a new T-shirt. Past collaborations with UMG include Paul McCartney, Taio Cruz, Lady Gaga, Maroon 5 and others.
Talenthouse conducts these campaigns for more than just music acts, but CEO Roman Scharf estimates about 40% of its total current activity is for music artists.
What got UMG interested in Talenthouse is not so much the ability to outsource for new creative ideas, although that's nice. The real win with Talenthouse is how these contests also help promote the artist to new fans via Facebook's viral network.
According to Scharf, each program gets around 1800 sumbissions. Those are then posted on the Facebook profiles of those submitting, essentially advertising the contest to all that person's friends. Scharf says the contest conducted for Florence and the Machine generated 68 million Facebook impressions.
What's more, these contests attract new fans among the professional vendors out there who submit to the contest as a means of promoting their work rather than just as a fan.
Scharf says that upward of 80% of those submitting for some contests are not already fans of the band. And another 65% of all people who submit content for a contest wind up "liking" the participating band's Facebook page. Queen, for instance, saw its Facebook likes increase from 6 million fans to 8 million, more than half of which Talenthouse estimates were generated from its program rather than organically.
Look for more info on Talenthouse in Billboard's DIY special feature, available Friday.