Fan-Funded Album Outperforms Rihanna And Coldplay On UK Charts

AltthumbProof that one does not need to be a pop goddess or multi-platinum selling rock band to make it onto the charts, a relatively unknown singer-songwriter named Ginger Wildheart (who first made a name for himself with the 90s rock band “The Wildhearts”), is currently sitting at the #9 spot on the UK Mid-Week Top Album charts with an album that was funded by his fans through PledgeMusic. A milestone for crowdfunding and direct-to-fan music as a whole, this fun-funded album even outsold music goliaths Rhianna and Coldplay – despite being recorded on relatively shoestring budget.

Last year, Ginger Wildheart invited fans to pre-purchase copies of his new album without having yet recorded any of it. Those who backed his project would be offered a limited edition triple album of 30 songs entitled 555%, as well as privileges to vote on which 12 tracks would make the single-disc version for commercial release. And on top of all this, Ginger vowed to donate proceeds from the album to the charity Save The Children.

Thanks to the overwhelming support of Ginger’s fans, the PledgeMusic campaign raised around £200,000 in a matter of hours. After the limited edition release sold out and tracks picked by the fans began surfacing online, word-of-mouth about 100% began to spread rapidly across the social networks – certainly a testament of how effective social media can be.

"This chart entry marks a historic change in the way bands and artists can release music direct to their fans, afford quality production values and actually make a living too," Ginger said. “For too many years, labels have been using musicians as fodder for developing their own marketing techniques, usually at the expense of the players themselves."

Ginger was certainly stunned by the support and response he got from his fans, and it couldn’t come at a better time for the musician, as he had considered quitting music for good prior to recording the album.

“If you have a modest fan base, you no longer have to consider quitting a business so obsessed with youth and photogenicity and get down to the task at hand.”

This chart appearance for Ginger can (and should) be rejoiced as a win for the independent music community, and the singer/songwriter now remains optimistic about what the future holds for the livelihoods of musicians.

"The future of music is in the hands of the people and is finally the responsibility of the musicians,” he said. “It's the most exciting time in decades, many musicians have earned this freedom."

Only time will tell how much longer 100% will remain in the charts, but one thing remains certain:

Truly remarkable music that achieves in connecting with listeners and brings along a genuine story that people want to be – and now can be – involved in, will be the recipient of both social, and when approached correctly, financial support… 100% of the time. 

Hisham Dahud is a Senior Analyst for Hypebot.com. Additionally, he is the head of Business Development for Fame House, LLC and an independent musician. Follow him on Twitter: @HishamDahud

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  1. Hisham, you fail to mention that the first week’s sales number being so high has everything to do with the fact that they’ve been essentially pre-selling the album for a full year, and all those sales are reported as first week’s sales.
    What was the actual SoundScan number?
    Let’s see how it does next week.

  2. Actually no, the album presold was the 30 track limited edition 555% which isn’t counted in numbers. This is just the 100% a spin off that wasn’t presold. Its likely to drop hard in its second week but regardless a huge achievement.

  3. What an innovative way to get an album recorded to a high standard without being attached to a record label or having funds of your own! Despite the fact that, yes, the charting is perhaps inaccurate given it was counting all the presales, at least attention is being brought to independent music anyway.

  4. What was the SoundScan total?
    Also, “Ginger vowed to donate proceeds from the album to the charity Save The Children.” – how much went to the charity?

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