Seeing as I am an avid pianist, guitarist and songwriter I am always looking for new ways of promoting my music and gaining industry knowledge, particularly on the internet. In November 2007 I discovered a fantastic new and very innovative website called Slicethepie.com. The main objective of Slicethepie is for artists & bands to raise enough finance to record and release their own album professionally, whilst retainng their copyright and cutting out the record companies.
Artists & bands have to reach the financing stage by first going through a scouting process, whereby registered members scout through the songs, listening to at least 60 seconds of each one, then giving their opinion which they are paid for. Scouts can get a series of pay-rises by bumping up their star rating - they must do this by giving accurate ratings, according to what other members rate, and writing long detailed honest reviews. The process of earning money just by listening to music and saying what you think is a very appealing one and can, at times, be quite addictive. I have now reached a scout star rating of 3 stars and I therefore earn 7p ($0.14c) for each track that I rate. In total I have probably now earned about £500 ($1000) just from scouting through songs....but that's not all!
Any scouts that use their earnings to invest in an artist or band by buying BackStage Passes for £5 each also then earns the right to buy 5 discounted contracts in the artists/bands album for each BackStage Pass that they own respectively. Investors also get a free copy of the album before it's released and exclusive access to the artist or bands private forum where they can chat directly to them. For investors, the contracts can be bought at a discout rate of just 10p ($0.20c) each. When they then go on general release to the public the contracts are released at a value of £1.50 ($3.00) each. After contracts are released they are then listen on the worlds only music stock market where they can be bought and sold at any time. Contracts are basically bets on how many albums the artist or band will sell and after two years (of the album release) they pay out at £1 for every 10, 000 albums sold and 10p for every 10, 000 singles sold. This basically works out that for every BackStage Pass you buy you are guaranteed a profit of £2 ($4).
In my experience some of the artists and bands that have made it through to financing on Slicethepie have already been successful before applying. At one point one artists contracts (Shaun Barrowes) hit a value of £9.99 each. A few other artists have remarkable values to their contracts aswell, mainly Temposhark, who are currently receiving airplay on MTV and playing at the London half-marathon and Scars On 45 who have toured South Africa, played the Isle Of Wight festival and are due to be televised. As of writing this review four albums have been released through Slicethepie and another one is due to come out this week. Admittedly the first album, Something I Might Regret by The Alps who applied for direct financing, is not selling particularly well though some of the later releases are.