Crowdfunding is often presented as an alternative to a traditional label deal, which in many cases it is. But labels can work with crowdfunding campaigns too, as seen in a growing number of examples on PledgeMusic for example. Now part of UMG, Blue Note Records is trying something interesting with crowdfunding firm ArtistShare. The pair are going to work together to discover and market emerging artists, including getting fans involved with crowdfunding them. Some may then get signed by Blue Note. “Young artists worldwide are making fresh musical statements left and right, but are forced to do their own marketing campaigns, too, often when their main focus should be their creative output,” said Blue Note’s chairman emeritus Bruce Lundvall in a statement. It’s an interesting deal, but as with any partnership holding out the prospect of recording deals for emerging artists, the proof of its usefulness will only come once we see just how many go on to build careers through the scheme.

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