Kind of interesting for what Protest the Hero is doing for their next album.
Information can be found here: http://www.indiegogo.com/protestthehero?c=home
What are your thoughts on fans funding an album to avoid dealing with record labels?
In principle I like the idea since it seems like there are tons of benefits for the artists. The band has more artistic freedom and less third party input from the label over the music they make, they have to sell less albums to cover their initial costs if they receive 100% of the revenue from whatever they sell beforehand, potentially they should earn more money off each album, it softens the piracy discussion if major labels aren't involved and bands aren't putting themselves in huge amounts of debt just making the album, etc. I'm sure there are more benefits but these are just the initial ones off the top of my head.
However, it's not to say there aren't drawbacks of using this business model. Let's say hypothetically more famous indie bands start following this pattern then I think fans who have limited incomes have to choose loyalties, whether they decide to give more to one band might mean they do not "invest" in another. I also hate the idea of rewarding fans who spend the most which in my opinion sets a terrible precedent of "using" your fans. I know they're trying to downplay this aspect by making a joke of the money aspect of it in their video, but that's the reality is some fans become more valuable to the band than others depending on how much money they can contribute. Lastly, which I think may be the most important, what happens when an album flops? Are fans less likely to support other bands if they feel like the return isn't worth the money they put in, how difficult would it be for a band to recover their credibility after a bad album if fans gave them their initial investment (plus more), would they be able to pursue another album through this business model? There are certainly lots of benefits to this business model, but there are certainly some kinks in the system.
Thoughts? Would you like to see TGA forgo Mercury when their contract is up and just become a fan investment opportunity?