Independent artists: Be informed, be aware, or beware...

Things like this really give me the shits. I manage the band as well as sing, so I occasionally get emails from companies trying to peddle their services on unsuspecting (and unfortunately, often uninformed) independent musos.

These guys just sent me an email offering a "private invitation" to their new crowdfunding site. Ok, cool, we might have to do some crowdfunding down the track so I figured it was worth checking out. Click. A few seconds later,  I'm greeted by this on their front page. There's only one number in this screenshot and at first I thought it was a typo:

INternational Music StockXChange

They keep 49%. Forty nine percent. I figured it had to be a mistake since every other crowdfunding site on the planet takes anywhere from 4% - 15% depending on the setup. So I checked out their FAQs and terms and conditions. Apparently, if you're successful they'll also have exclusive rights to your record. WTF? I read it over twice to make sure I wasn't missing the part where they invested significant amounts of their money in promoting the artist. No, all funds come from what the band's fans have paid. They'll distribute their your album for you and keep half. Indie artists can get worldwide digital distro themselves through companies like CD Baby for around 10%.

Companies like this should be ashamed of themselves. They're quite obviously trying to rip off independent artists. If you're in a band and want to raise money for your next project, do some research first. Remember, these are YOUR fans. YOUR supporters. Don't screw them and yourselves by giving their hard earned money away to someone else.

Please share this with any artists and music lovers you know.

-Raj

PS. if anyone wants to look at their 'recording contract' here's the link: bit.ly/1d5HsYc

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