FeedbackLoop is an interesting new hybrid that uses a music subscription service to fund the creation and release of monthly music projects from indie artists. There's both a digital-only and physical/digital combo subscription option with the first release coming in May. I spoke yesterday with founder Justin Chapman about this unique approach.
FeedbackLoop is the creation of Justin Chapman who is a musician and producer based in Philadelphia. He said the idea was partly inspired by the fact that he was being paid to produce studio recordings for local musicians who funded their activities mostly through day jobs. He felt additional funding options for musicians were needed.
What he came up with is a monthly subscription offering that will feature a new release from a different musical act each month. Initial artists are from Philadelphia and his network of contacts but he's interested in working with a broader range in the future.
FeedbackLoop Starter Kit
Two basic subscription options are available with a minimum of $2 and $10. The lower tier is a digital-only offering that's accessed online. A physical "Time Capsule" and "Starter Kit" is mailed to those subscribing at $10 and above:
"Each month, you will receive a USB key containing projects that you helped fund from new artists that we've hand-picked. You will also receive a booklet documenting the making of each project, from concept to completion."
The Starter Kit includes:
"a pair of high-quality FeedbackLoop earbuds, and a bag to collect your Time Capsules in."
Initially FeedbackLoop will be funding releases as subscriptions build. Given the pricing, I think they may have some challenges in getting their own revenue stream solid but it's a really interesting approach.
Chapman feels that services like Spotify work great for listeners but not so well for musicians. He wants to build a sustainable model for serving both sides of the equation, musicians and listeners. That's certainly a positive approach especially given that Spotify's allegiance is ultimately to neither side but to their investors.
FeedbackLoop As A New Form Of Record Label
In many ways Chapman thinks of FeedbackLoop as a new form of record label with curation of acts and initial financing of the creation of music but without the need to recoup. He hopes that FeedbackLoop can be seen as a valid form of financing in addition to self/family funds, crowdfunding and traditional record deals.
Though Chapman believes crowdfunding is a great option for musicians he also recognizes that it requires a lot of work and can be a difficult way to raise funding for musicians at the early stages of their career.
In addition to getting cash flow going, I think the biggest issue may be in finding a fit between musicians and listeners in terms of taste. The site does not present a genre and currently doesn't list upcoming artists.
A general offering of curated music is a bit too vague for most customers but once you identify where you're going in terms of a roster, the customer base is immediately limited. So finding that product/market fit will be a definite challenge for FeedbackLoop.
That said, it's great to see a fresh approach to funding music.
Want to get your music funded? FeedbackLoop Artist Info.
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at All World Dance: Videos and maintains Music Biz Blogs. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.