Crowdsourcing, which used to be simply known as “asking favors” from friends and fans to finish a project, has been used by many artists for years. It’s a model that works, apparently. The internet and social media has provided artists a more creative venue for “asking” and collaborating and the digital cameras and apps make it easier for fans to create and share content. Crowdsourcing is definitely the business model for artists today and in the future.
Here are some of the things you can crowdsource from your fans aside from album art and merch design:
Gone are the days when you have to spend big bucks for a music video. Now, all you have to do is ask your fans to help you by using their video cameras or even iPhones. Check out these cool crowdsourced Music Video projects compiled by Mashable. Or, if you really are planning to shoot your video like a pro, you could use an extra hand from your fans by helping you in every aspect of production.
Yep. Sounds a bit tacky, eh? But if you’re going to an awards night or if you are known for your outfits (think Lady Gaga, Bjork, etc), then surely, some designer fans would be more than willing to design for you. Back in 2007, British musicianImogen Heap attended the Grammys in a dress by little-known L.A-based fashion designerPinar Eris who contacted Heap through Myspace. Both parties gained something from it. Imogen didn’t spend anything for her wardrobe while Pinar’s dress got the exposure it needed.
This might be too much for most of you but these things are happening right now: musicians asking fans for the lyrics of their songs! Spanish band La Oreja de Van Gogh is well known in the Spanish world for their unique, inventive and original lyrics, which is why it was a surprise when they announced what they called El Plan B: they would let fans determine the lyrics for their next song. The band set up a website where people could find resources on songwriting, as well as submit their lyrics and read other people’s submissions.
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