Return of the Roman Empire Italian crowdfunding site Musicraiser pioneers new way for music industry
Musicraiser (www.musicraiser.com) is an international crowdfunding site run by musicians, for musicians. Its artists predominantly come from mainland Europe and the UK.
The new label
At its core Musicraiser is a crowdfunding site for emerging musicians and bands. However, unlike other similar sites, it acts as an intermediary between the artists, PRs, A&Rs, distributors, tour planners and other musicians. This means that it allows artists to make music videos, promotional material, PR campaigns, and social media campaigns, produce a record, distribute a record, collaborate and ensure that they oversee the whole process.
Musicraiser then performs the same duties as a record label, but unlike the major labels it is funded entirely by fans and the thriving Musicraiser community. Where the large labels are funded by profits, artists might find they have to compromise their artistic vision in order sell units and stay with the label, hoping that in the future they might eventually be able to follow their true vision. As musicians themselves, the founders of Musicraiser believe that this stifles artistic ambition during an artist’s essential early growth period. The Musicraiser management thrive on success and creativity; they want to see an original and passionate artist grow and be equipped with the necessary resources to make the music they and their fans love. They are driven by a love of music and art.
In essence then, MusicRaiser aims to bridge the gap from the artist to their fans. No middle men - simply a clear line of communication from those who create the music to those who enjoy it.
Musicraiser Managing Director and CEO Giovanni Gulino, ‘Providing funds for a project means that you believe in their ideas, that you really trust them to follow it through and that you want them to continue to do so in the long term. The donations of our community provide money to successful campaigns on the basis they trust their ability to produce music, because that is what they’re great at – pure and simple. Not that they want them to produce music crafted specifically to the donor’s taste.’
How it works
Musicraiser also provides free strategic advice for an artist on their future plans with a release campaign or album launch. They take a small commission from the fundraising campaign itself, so are interested in seeing the funds raised, but do not charge for their advice and networking services.
As well as being a funding platform Musicraiser is a hub for professionals, which is essential to its model. Along with musicians it hosts projects for photographers, filmmakers, producers, sound designers and merchandise designers. The presence of this community allows Musicraiser to hook new artists up with other relevant professionals who are already linked into Musicraiser. This allows Musicraiser to present artist with a full catalogue of marketing, production and logistical tools without having themselves to invest in them. They are essential intermediaries working on behalf of the artists.
Like other crowdfunding sites Musicraiser has a pay by success policy whereby funders will only have to follow through on their pledges if the total is raised. This means there is no risk to the funders in donating money for a project which quickly fails. For the artist there is also no risk as they won’t have to pay the costs of advice received during a crowdfunding if their campaign fails to reach its full amount.
Once a crowdfunding project has taken off and an artist has created and sold copies of its first release, it is likely to launch into a more conventional campaign, driven as much by sales as by donations. This means that the band might take it upon themselves to pay producers, marketers and organisers for their services externally of Musicraiser – hence the term ‘platform’;
It means that signing up to Musicraiser is equally beneficial for producers, PRs, A&Rs, tour planners and pluggers as it is for the bands. If they become involved in the Musicraiser network they will find that it is a strong channel for new business and thriving artists, it also allows them to advertise their services to a targeted pre-existing audience who they can be sure will be interested in their services.
Why the UK?
Musicraiser is already successful in the European market. It raised over €1 million for developing bands and artists in its first year and has an existing community of 40,000 fundraisers. It aims to build on this in the future by working with more external producers and marketing companies to build their internal professional networks.
Musicraiser want to do that same thing in the UK where the array of musical talent on offer is even greater. With its brilliant heritage for musical talent the UK is still seen as a reliable market for creative output.
MD and CEO Giovanni Gulino: “The UK is obviously a beacon of creativity in the EU market. Their history of success speaks for them but recently the amount of artists we have seen come from the UK has been staggering, not just mainstream pop but, jazz, soul, dance, rock, classical, R & B – it’s all there. All we want to do is to take our model, which has proven to be successful in Europe (arguably a more limited market for creativity), and apply it in the UK using UK creative talent.”
“We want to invest in the UK market because it’s one of the most important markets in the world for music. We feel that if we build credibility in the UK we will be able to expand the new markets with a bigger knowhow and effectiveness later. The UK is exporting lots of great new acts and we want to bring our model on board to offer a new way of working with artists. We also feel very connected to the UK’s music because we grew up listening to music like The Beatles, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin.”