Jeremy Schulz and R-Evolution are crowdfunding the full realization of the Downloadable Album Tee. The Downloadable Album Tee combines a band tshirt with a QR code label to stream or download a digital album. Schulz tried it out with his band on tour and says it was a great success. Now he's taking the prototype and seeking funds to further develop the business.
Though I think there are a few flaws in the campaign itself, Schulz comes across as a sincere musician trying to help other musicians with a tested concept that's gotten a good response.
R-Evolution Downloadable Album Tee Demo
The Downloadable Album Tee is demoed in the above video. It's an interesting concept that basically takes QR code labels and uses them to include a digital download with a tshirt to increase sales. Schulz says he came up with the idea while driving home after a tour during which he sold out of tshirts but still had plenty of CDs.
The technical details are broken down in the FAQ. Basically purchasers can scan a QR code label via a mobile device that will start a stream of music. The label includes an additional alphanumeric code that allows you to download the album which they recommend doing by computer. As explained on the About page there is also a label option that's focused more on promotional content.
R-Evolution Tees can print the shirts with labels or add labels to your shirts. They then handle the streaming and downloads.
Schulz is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to take the business to the next level:
"We are asking for your pledge to help us execute our vision of empowerment through interactive merchandise. Better feature functionality, a bigger shop, and providing you the fan, the customer, the artist, with a truly unique and simple way to connect. Thank you for your support!"
This is certainly a valid request that's strengthened by the work done to date including actual on the road success. Unfortunately the request feels a bit vague which I think would tend to undermine the campaign. People just find it easier to wrap their hands around more specific projects such as album releases. One way to make such a campaign stronger is to go into more detail about how the money will be spent.
Not everyone's into such transparency and it's not always necessary if the project itself is easy to grasp but in this case I think breaking down the spending and goals a bit more clearly would be helpful. Even getting more specific with the goals might do the trick.
My other concern is that the campaign's main promo video is overly focused on ideological issues about the state of the music industry with opening slogans such as "Corporate Raiders Destroyed Music." The Downloadable Album Tee isn't explained until over a minute into the video and the campaign goals aren't mentioned at all.
The above video is included on the campaign page and both explains the Downloadable Album Tee and gives you a sense of who Jeremy "Walrus" Schulz is and where he's coming from. He's not a slick sales guy or a loser with a dream. He's real, he's been making R-Evolution Tees happen and he needs your help to take it to the next level.
If that's something you can get behind, please head over to his Kickstarter campaign and get to pledging.
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) blogs about music crowdfunding at Crowdfunding For Musicians (@CrowdfundingM). To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.