garageband, the innovative record company that brings music lovers and musicians together on the Internet, today announced “The New Deal,” a marketing and distribution program for aspiring yet unsigned musicians. The New Deal extends the company’s proprietary, patent-pending technology for singling out bands based on the opinions of hundreds of thousands of on-line reviewers to now also gauge real-world commercial appeal.
As Napster has proven, the $40 billion record industry is at a crossroads as both artists and the labels wrestle with how to harness the power (and excitement) of the Internet. garageband’s New Deal program sets out to do just that and in the process, change the economics of a terribly inefficient business. The New Deal brings back true artist development and creates a comprehensive structure for unsigned bands to earn recording contracts and build sustainable music careers.
Said Greg Kaegen of the Chain Poets, one of the first bands selected for the New Deal, “The really hard part for an unsigned band is what to do with the CD once you make it. The New Deal is very realistic and will give us a chance to reach a greater audience, an audience we may never have been able to reach.”
“We have known from day one that there is a difference between critical acclaim and commercial appeal,” said Tom Zito, CEO, chairman, and co-founder of garageband. “After 18 months on the ‘Net, we’ve refined our technology and the New Deal will bridge the chasm, to create a new kind of artist-friendly label that really listens to fans and helps bands find their own audiences.”
Added garageband co-founder Jerry Harrison, “Our belief is that there are a lot of hardworking artists who need a little push, some cash, and marketing help to climb up to the next rung. The difference between becoming a self-sustaining act and going back to work as a clerk at Blockbuster is often miniscule.”
Typically, the traditional major label spends anywhere from $500,000 to upwards of $5 million to find talent, launch, and market a band. garageband is able to significantly reduce these costs with its proprietary filtering technology – the Lathroum Preference Engine(TM) (LPE). By integrating and filtering the active participation of both bands and fans through the Internet, the LPE provides important consumer research data which identifies promising bands. This research is then combined with a variety of marketing, professional and promotional services that assist bands in advancing their musical careers.
Through this process, garageband has virtualized the time-honored, yet very time-consuming and costly A&R (artists & repertoire) system, and has made a very real commitment to a tradition now all but absent from the music business: artist development.
The New Deal offers a set of milestones and rewards to unsigned bands that ultimately leads to a recording contract. Under The New Deal, five bands drawn from the garageband’s bimonthly Top 20 charts, as determined by the company’s reviewer community, receive an initial infusion of cash. Bands also receive a range of legal, marketing, and distribution services to begin charting a successful course.
As a band’s success develops, so does the level of garageband’s financial participation. To date over 35,000 bands have uploaded their music to garageband with millions of reviews of the music processed by the LPE. In addition, garageband has drawn together for its virtual community the largest and most respected group of music industry professionals ever to collaborate on the Internet. This group plays an active role in nurturing bands that are deemed by the fans as having the most potential.
Sir George Martin, who discovered and produced The Beatles, is the chairman of garageband’s Advisory Board.
Said Sir George Martin, “From the outset, garageband has been developing genuine and innovative ways to help emerging musicians reach a wider audience. This is another record industry first and reaffirms the commitment that garageband has to new talent. I am looking forward to the results.”