I first stumbled upon My Major Company via Twitter, when one of their staff started following me, and I decided to have a look at their website. I’d heard before of artists turning to crowd funding in order to get their music out there, but this is a rather different animal, a far more organised one. For a start, it is in itself a record label, with an A&R department for scouting new talent, and is headed up by music industry professionals.
With MMC, people can sign up to the website, and invest in shares (each costing £10) of any of the eight artists that are currently looking for funding. Once an artist has hit the target of £100,000, the cogs of the label start turning, creating and releasing music in the way that any other record label might. In turn, the investors can expect a percentage of the profits from the releases, gigs and merchandise of the artists they have given money to.
There are currently two bands on the roster that have reached this lofty target. Pop rockers Ivyrise smashed through it within four days of the site being launched, and have an album due this summer, whilst rock trio Some Velvet Morning managed it in the still impressive time of two months.
MMC seem to have tapped into a rather canny way of running a record label, one which lessens (or possibly eliminates) the risk to them of losing their investment, should a band not turn out to be as profitable as originally hoped. It also means they are focusing their efforts on bands and artists that have a proven fan base and one that people have financial confidence in. Either that or they are bands that happen to have very rich friends.
It seems to me, that as money from record sales seems to be in decline in the age of illegal downloads, artists and the record industry in general are going to be looking increasingly at innovative ways