Second-tier social network Bebo and innovative fan-funding mechanic Slicethepie have got together to offer an attractive proposition for both Bebo users and bands using the Slicethepie service.
Slicethepie works by crowd-sourcing the A&R process, something that I strongly advocated in my series of posts on innovating digital music. People can invest in bands, and once a band has enough to make an album, any investors get a share of the revenues from selling that album, as well as a credit .
The partnership means that Bebo users will be able to review and rate content on the service, and will be paid a small fee for doing so. Bands that get financed via the Bebo showcase will gain a promotional package that Bebo claims is worth £50k, that'll include an album launch party, promotion on the Bebo homepage, and exposure to major label A&Rs.
The first "Scout Room" on Bebo will go live this month, so if you're in a band, it's definitely worth a look. Just make sure you've got a strong presence on Bebo too. What does Bebo get out of it? More bands on a service that's struggling to compete with Myspace, let alone Facebook's dominance of the sector.
This is what I like to see - innovative new ways of buying music that encourages people to actually spend money on bands they love. Venturebeat reports that Apple is experimenting with something called iTunes Pass, which allows fans to buy a pass for a certain group or artist and then get everything that artist releases for a given time period.
Apple's piloting it with Depeche Mode. You can buy a pass for $19 and you'll get the band's new single right now, the album when it comes out, and some other exclusive tracks too. You'll also get any videos and artwork that the band puts out before June 16th, which is when the pass expires.
All the content you get is DRM-free, though it will show up in Apple's AAC format. Apple also guarantees that the value of the pass won't exceed the value of the individual items, so you're getting a good deal however you look at it.
For my favourite bands, I'd definitely sign up for this. For stuff I'm less excited about, I wouldn't, but that's not really the point of the scheme. It's about making fans feel special, giving bands a greater connection to those people, and maybe actually making some money off music again. Good work, Apple.
Is it something you'd use? What bands would you sign up for if they were offered? Let us know in the comments.
Check this out - someone has actually built themselves a Batmobile based on the version in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. The Tumbler, to give it's proper name, is a near-perfect replica features everything from the after-burner to the stealth-plane-esque body and, remarkably, was built merely by looking at pictures from the two films and publicity photos with no original blueprints used...
You know what Xbox 360 really needs? Another motor whirring away while you play.
I find that it's occasionally possible to hear what's happening during a game on my current Xbox 360, so it'd be great to up the volume of the Xbox 360 fans and motors to as-yet unheard levels of whirring...
Christmas is coming early this year on Tech Digest, with a product give-away each day for the next fortnight, thanks to Brando.
You may've missed yesterday's USB missile launcher give-away, but today you can win yourself something even better. Normally $10 in the US, the USB 'Cutie' fan plugs into your USB port, and will give you cool reprieve on those sweaty days in the office when the air-conditioning breaks down.
Take a look below the jump for details on how all British residents can win this brilliant prize...