Have you heard of the band Jolly?
Can you imagine doing something you love so much, touring the world, entertaining audiences, but still being broke afterward? Unfortunately, the music business today is really messed up. How many bands can survive when so many people download their songs for free, see their videos and perhaps even their concerts for free? Meanwhile, other people get paid, somehow, from promoters to venues, booking agents and managers…yet band members– music makers– get peanuts.
When you’re four young dudes in a van touring in your 20s, sleeping on floors at friends and acquaintances’ places, the rock star life is do-able. But what happens when you hit your 30s, some of the band members are married now, and babies are on the way? As the band Jolly can attest, it gets “complicated.” And while the wife and kids milestone typically means a rock band breaks up, Jolly has come up with a way to keep making music with the idea to actually get paid while doing it, little by little…
Jolly is using an online platform where fans contribute money to the band in exchange for stuff.
So, if you want the new Jolly song, give them a few bucks and you can download it. For a little more money, you can get extras. By staying connected with their already established fanbase and calling their new release “Family,” Jolly is essentially using a subscription-based model to keep their band going…without having to pay a manager, etc. They’ve cut out the middlemen for now. It’s a relationship between music fans and the band they love, and if the fans put their money where their mouths are– not just saying they love Jolly, but actually showing it with their online financial contributions to the foursome, then the band can keep going, doing what they love to do, bringing their fans with them along for the ride.
Is this plan viable? In today’s digital world, perhaps. The downside? There’s so much competition out there, and ways to get stuff for free…not every band is doing what Jolly is attempting to do– it’s not “the norm” yet. The upside? True fans with money can finance the band while getting perks back for their money, from song downloads to whatever other cool ideas the band delivers. We shall see how it works out. –Mark Weber Music Blog