WebCeleb Thinks Fans Should be Paid to Listen to Music They Like
June 8, 2010
Reinhardt Schuhmann in digital music distribution, royalties, webceleb

WebCeleb is a social music marketplace with a great business model for music fans.

If you’re a musician…not so much.

For every song purchased on WebCeleb, 50% of the money goes to the artist, 10% to the company, and 40% is split equally among the fans that bought that song.

According to WebCeleb’s promotional video, musicians should be super excited because “For the first time (they) can give back to (their) fans thanking them for their support.”

Wow! Finally!  As a musician it’s been so frustrating to suffer through all these years of giving nothing back to fans.  Nothing, except of course MUSIC THAT THEY ENJOY LISTENING TO!

Is this what we’ve come to?  Music has been de-valued to the point where musicians should engage in profit sharing with their fans?  Really!?  The WebCeleb business model actually suggests that music is worth less than nothing to the consumer.  You need to PAY PEOPLE TO LISTEN TO IT?!

Personally, I’d rather give songs away for free, or even have people download them illegally than pay fans to check out my music.

As if this wasn’t reason enough for musicians to be pissed off, WebCeleb is also hosting a Best of Local Music Showcase, in which fans purchase tickets for the showcase on the site, and the artists that sell the most tickets will get to perform.  Folks who bought tickets for artists who don’t make the cut get reimbursed, and of course the fans get 40% of the ticket sales.

Playing for an audience that was essentially paid to be there sounds pretty weird and awful, unless you’re the type of artist who likes to berate fans.  If that’s the case, now you can finally yell, “Shut the hell up and listen! We paid you good money to be here!”

I’m not delusional.  I didn’t become a musician to rake in the cash.  Even if I’m not making a dime, I’m still gonna make music.  It’s something that I love to do.  That doesn’t mean I want to give people who dig my music a cut of whatever money it brings me.  That’s just stupid.

Do authors give part of their publishing royalties to people who read their books?  Do artists dole out cash so someone will hang their work on the wall?  Would an architect cut a check to see his building get made?  No, no and no. Why on earth should a musician split the money they get selling their music with their fans?

If we have reached a point where this is something fans, start-up companies, and (God help us) MUSICIANS, think is okay, it’s time to seriously re-evaluate what music means to our society.

Article originally appeared on Music Think Tank (http://www.musicthinktank.com/).
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