Artist Logic is getting his own ‘one-hour television special’ based around collaborating with musicians and fans around the world. The twist: it won’t be on television, but on YouTube. Logic is working with a startup called Hitrecord, founded earlier this year by actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, which aims to make these kinds of mass-collaborations possible.
“Logic will create the beginnings of an original song – perhaps he’ll record a beat and a few lyrics. He’ll post this on Hitrecord’s online creative platform and issue an open invitation for anybody and everybody in the world to build on what he started – either by playing an instrument, writing lyrics, or by singing vocals,” is how YouTube’s press release explained the process. “Logic fans, and undiscovered musical talents from around the world will upload their ideas and musical contributions, but it will fall to Logic to select the sounds he loves, which collaborators to recruit, and which direction the song will take.”
The YouTube special will follow the process, hosted by Gordon-Levitt himself. Here’s the really interesting part though: “As with all Hitrecord productions, if your work is included in the finished song, music video, or television special, you will be paid,” explains the submission page. $50k has been set aside to pay contributors if they are included in the song or special, but then 50% of the publishing royalties and 45% of the master royalties from any commercial release / licensing of the track will be divided between those contributors too.
In a world where fan-collaboration contests often see the fans’ contributions not earning them a single cent, this feels like a step forward. Hitrecord is clearly working hard to be as transparent as possible: for example with a separate explanation of its plans to obtain exclusive rights for all the contributions to the Logic track. Logic has 16.2 million monthly listeners on Spotify, 2.2 million YouTube subscribers, and 6.6 million monthly Pandora listeners, to name just three royalty-generating platforms where this data is available. The chance for fans to not just contribute to but get paid for a Logic song released through those channels is very interesting.