Jazz label Blue Note Records has joined with crowdfunding platform ArtistShare in a new partnership called Blue Note/ArtistShare committed to discovering and nurturing up-and-coming young jazz talent.
The Blue Note/ArtistShare partnership was forged by Blue Note chairman emeritus Bruce Lundvall, AristShare founder Brian Camelio and Don Was, president of Blue Note Records. The label will help with selecting artists and promotional support and will potentially upstream selected artists to the official Blue Note roster. Artists will retain the rights to their master recordings.
At the same time, the emergence of Blue Note/ArtistShare will allow fans to be involved in the creative process of discovering new talent and in funding the music -- which makes the partnership something of a low-investment for Blue Note.
“Young artists worldwide are making fresh musical statements left and right, but are forced to do their own marketing campaigns, too, often when their main focus should be their creative output,” said Lundvall in a statement. "I see the ArtistShare business model as a key component of the future music business."
Endeavors such as Blue Note/ArtistShare show both the potential for finding new talent through crowdfunding and how the platform is increasingly becoming a strategy for larger companies. In recent years the market for music crowdfunding platforms has grown exponentialy. In addition to Kickstarter and ArtistShare, other platforms include Pledge Music, Sonicangel, Rockethub and IndieGoGo. Some artists have also turned to using their personal websites for crowdfunding. The platform WordPress offers plug-ins like IgnitionDeck for artists looking to lessen the cost and personalize the process.
In 2011 Universal Music Group, Blue Note's parent company, and Talenthouse launched a deal to conduct fan-engagement contests as a form of crowdsourcing. The contests allowed fans to collaborate on various art designs such as t-shirts and cover art images for their favorite artists.
According to a recent report by Croudsourcing.org, crowdfunding of global projects in 2013 will increase $2.4 billion in 2013 to $5.1 billion -- nearly doubling the $2.7 billion raised in 2012.
Successful ArtistShare musicians include composer Maria Schneider, jazz guitarist Jim Hall, The Clayton Brothers, pianist Danilo Perez and saxophonist Chris Potter. According to ArtistShare, their crowdfunded projects include 6 Grammy Awards and 18 Grammy nominations.
The most famous example of a musician's crowdfunding success is Amanda Palmer, who last year raised $1.2 million dollars via Kickstarter to fund her album, companion book, and tour. The album sold nearly 85,000 albums globally in six months.
In addition to its famed catalog, which features the music of such jazz luminaries like Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, and John Coltrane, Blue Note Records has been active in the technology space, most recently with its acclaimed Spotify app launched last September.
Additional reporting by Andy Gensler