Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Web site created by University of Michigan students proposes a new twist on the music industry's business model - the chance for fans to invest directly in specific artists., led by CEO Drew Leahy, a U-M senior, offers upstart musical artists the chance to attract financial investments from their fans. Fans can buy "stock" in their favorite artists. The shares aren't equity - that would present legal problems - but instead "the perks are access for investing," Leahy said. "These people are basically purchasing access to an exclusive community that garnishes a personal relationship" with the artist, he said. "They're directly supporting the artist, and they're doing it in a way that's nontraditional." An individual $10 share, for example, may come with a CD from the band. For 10 shares, a band may offer to write a song about you, for example. Shares could also come with exclusive access to online content, including the band's blogs, photos, videos and music. The site, which has about 20 unofficial employees and advisers, has signed deals with 10 mid-Michigan artists and sold 650 shares to some 300 registered users in its five months, in business, Leahy said. To Learn More Click Here

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