This Free App Will Pay You to Tell Your Friends About New Music
Ever fancied yourself a record promoter? Are you the one who discovers and shares new artists with your friends?
Well, now's your chance to get paid for it.
Alabama-based singer-songwriter Matthew Mayfield has long been an unconventional artist, and his new experiment can help you make money. Mayfield is allowing fans to cash in by paying them to promote his new 10-track album, Wild Eyes, through LOUD Record Deals. And Mayfield is just one of several artists, including Adam Sams and Levi Lowrey, using the platform to promote their music and raise cash for themselves and their fan-promoters.
LOUD, which just launched in March, is a way for fans to cash in on artists’ popularity by promoting albums and earning commissions on their sales. So when you find a cool new artist or band and tell your friends to buy their album, you’ll get paid for your recommendation.
"It feels a little more like a communal experience,” Mayfield told AL.com. “Starting to do direct deals with your fans could really shake things up and make it interesting."
How Much Money Can You Make With LOUD?
Every artist wants their fans to share their work with the world via social media, word-of-mouth or any other way they can think of -- this helps the artist build a relationship with their fans and develop a broader fanbase. But Mayfield's campaign (and other LOUD campaigns) are unique in that they offer a financial incentive to do so.
The idea is that you can share Mayfield's campaign via the LOUD Record Deals app, which is free and available for Android and iOS, or its web-based platform. For every sale made from your shared post or message, you’ll receive a 10% commission.
A deluxe version of Wild Eyes, including three additional songs only available through the LOUD platform, costs $9.99, so you’ll earn $0.99 on each referral. You need to earn at least $2 before you get paid, and you’ll be paid two to five business days after you request your earnings. LOUD transfers the money back onto the credit card you used to sign up, or your bank account, though they’re working on a more streamlined payout system.
A Potentially More Lucrative Option
For even more devoted fans, or those looking for a bigger payday, there is a Gold Record Deal option. First, you pony up $99 (your investment) and download a copy of the album. Then, you work to promote it, earning 100% of sales up until you recoup your $99 investment after 10 sales and break even.
That’s when the real earning potential kicks in. You’ll earn 50% of additional sales after the $99 mark, along with a share of the album's overall digital sales -- so at least $4.99 from each additional sale you make. Mayfield is setting aside 15% of overall digital sales from over 300 digital outlets to split among the Gold Record Deal participants.
The earnings potential is unlimited, so if you’re able to refer a lot of sales, you could earn some serious cash. You’ll need to do it within one year of the date you sign up, though, as the Gold Record Deal expires after a year.
Gold Record Deal participants will also receive additional benefits, including exclusive digital content and “other unique experiences directly from the artist,” according to Mayfield's LOUD profile.
How Do You Sign Up?
To take advantage of the deal, sign up directly through Mayfield's profile or the LOUD homepage. The company doesn’t have any age or location restrictions, though minors should have parental permission to purchase a Gold Record Deal. You can also check out the other artists featured on LOUD.
If you’re an artist looking to partner with LOUD, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the scouting and selection process.
Where Did This Alternative to Crowdfunding Come From?
The company was formed by four co-founders, all former full-time musicians who understand the difficulties of the music industry. They launched LOUD’s sister site, Loudfund, in 2014 as a way to help musicians and provide fans with more of an incentive to promote their favorite artists. Loudfund is an investment crowdfunding platform similar to Kickstarter, another popular platform for artists to partner with fans and raise funds.
But LOUD's model of working in partnership with artists and fans (and paying fans a commission on sales they help generate) is different than the techniques used by a variety of other crowdfunding platforms.
Mayfield has used Kickstarter-style campaigns in the past, he told AL.com, but he wanted try something different this time around. His experiment with an unconventional promotion strategy could be your ticket to earning a little extra cash for something you might do anyway -- tell your friends about a sweet new album. We’ll see whether this idea will catch on with other artists!
Your Turn: Would you sign up to promote your favorite artists, or new and emerging ones?
Kristen Pope is a freelance writer and editor in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.