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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Pledge Music - Support What You Love

So far this blog has been dedicated to posting reviews and links to free music that has been released by artists for the enjoyment of their fans. But we all know there are several way to obtain music from your favorite artists. Currently the music industry is undergoing a shift from the long running success of hard copy album sales to digital downloads and instant streaming access. That million album mark has been increasingly harder to obtain for all artists of all genres and some great bands are taking the hit. Artists that are trying to find their following have had to get their music out there in new ways with the use of the web (Myspace, Twitter, Amazon, Fan Sites, ect.).

Lets face it, most of us probably know of ways to obtain your favorite songs for free. But for bands and artists to survive they not only need your fan support, they also have to have some sort of financial support as well to be able release music to their fans. Without this financial support, the music goes silent and some great bands and artists stop making music. So the question for me is, what is the best way to support your favorite bands? Well one great option I have discovered is Pledge Music.

So what is Pledge Music? Well I will let the creators describe it with the excerpt below taken from their site:

"Pledge Music offers you the opportunity to fund your favourite band or solo artist’s new album. In effect, you as the fan become the record label the band or solo artist is recording for. You help fund their record and if they don’t reach their pledge target you won’t get charged a cent."

That is just a quick description, but there is so much more that Pledge Music has to offer. Basically artists can turn to Pledge Music to help them get connected with their fans to raise financial support to create a new album. Bands start out with a goal of how much money they need to raise to cover recording fees and the amount of money they want to donate to a charity. After that, its up to the fans to support the band so that they can reach their goal. An initial  pledge towards a band is usually $10 - $15. But you can choose to pledge more money to the band in return for some awesome extras. If you truly are a fan of the band there are some really cool things you can receive from the band for bigger donations. From signed items and t-shirts, meet and greets and even have them play a show at your house! How ridiculous would it be to have your favorite band play at your house! But the benefits of the organization don't stop there. During the entire fund raising period, the artists have the option to release extra downloads to the supporting fans. It gives you access to exclusive band updates with pictures, videos, and extra music recordings. Once the album has been fully funded, the pledgers receive the full album in appreciation for their support.

I discovered Pledge Music for the first time when I was trying to obtain more information about the next Damnwells album release. I have done anything possible to obtain everything The Damnwells create (if you are a first time reader, I'm a big fan). So I found out that The Damnwells used Pledge Music to achieve full support for their next album. I made a pledge to the bands album and in return I have received over 25 never released songs and raw recordings from one of my all-time favorite bands. On top of that, there has been a lot of updates released about the making of the album including pictures and videos from the studio! I am so glad I pledged because otherwise I would have never had access to all of this extra music and have such an inside look at them recording their album.

The Damnwells have reached nearly 200% of their initial goal, so that's double what they needed to record their next album. The group will use the extra funding to promote their new album and also donate to their selected charity United Against Malaria. So it really is a win win win. Win for the band, Win for the fans, and a Win for charity. I think Pledge Music has got a great thing going on here for all fans of music. Check out their offerings at the Pledge Music site and see if any of your favorite bands are there. I have also pledged towards a group called "I Am Lovedrug" as well. I had never heard of this band until I visited the site but I definitely think their music deserves supporting. They are at the 95% mark for full funding for their next album. Check out their album project as well as all the other bands and support the music you love.

The Damnwells


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