WHAT IS BUSKER
Busker is the evolution in Fan to Artist Support. As the music industry changes so do the means by which Artists survive and thrive. CDs are all but gone, download sales are dwindling but music appreciation is through the roof thanks to streaming services and sites like YouTube.
So how do you capitalize on all this appreciation?
Touring and Playing Shows is obviously the first choice. Bands generate revenue by charging to get in and splitting that money with the venue and the other Artists. They can also sell merchandise at prices set to recoup cost and maybe earn a little profit.
But with a Busker profile, a Fan who isn’t bothered by the door price and isn’t interested in buying merchandise but loves the music can simply tip the band as little as a dollar or as much as he or she wants to.
Crowd funding has become extremely popular and lucrative for Musicians, but this option is only available when the Artist is creating new content (i.e. recording). Other services have tweaked this formula to allow for sponsorships, but this still leaves the Artist with the task of creating new content constantly as if he or she was under a recording contract.
But with a Busker profile, an Artist can raise funds for any reason or no reason at all. For example, let’s say a fan pledged $5 to a crowd funding campaign to complete an album in exchange for a copy of that album. And let’s say that fan really loves your album, considers all of the talent and hard work that went into the recording and realizes that $5 for the album was too much of a bargain. If that Artist has a Busker profile, then that Fan can tip the band on top of the $5 previously pledged to even the scales.
These are just a few of the reasons to set up a profile, but there are many more…
Additionally, an Artist can license his or her music, sell physical recordings at record stores via a distribution contract, and maybe even get signed to a recording contract. And how could we forget the revenue generated by streaming! (just kidding) We at Busker hope that every Musician is able to avail themselves of all of these methods, but even so, they will be leaving a possible revenue stream on the bench without a Busker profile.
WHO IS BUSKER
My name is Dan Schiller. Prior to founding Busker I played in multiple bands around Chicago, including The Missouri Compromise and the Live Band Karaoke collective. I also worked as a sound engineer on the Oprah show for 4 years. After that I went to law school in Chicago and studied Intellectual Property law, among other things. Throughout it all I’ve been a passionate and even rabid music fan.
One night a few years ago I saw a band called A Sunny Day in Glasgow at a small venue in Chicago. I had found this band a few months earlier upon a recommendation from a friend and with my Spotify subscription ($10/month) I incorporated their music into my playlists and came to really enjoy their music. When I saw that they were playing in my town I jumped at the opportunity to go see them.
The cover charge was $10 for ASDIG and 2 other bands, and it was fantastic. Afterwards, I felt compelled to somehow give them more of my appreciation. After all, the Spotify subscription wasn’t breaking my back and neither was the $10 cover charge. So I went to the merchandise table. They had vinyl for sale, but I sold my turntables years ago, and some T-shirts and posters. The problem was that as an adult “professional” I wasn’t interested in representing my fandom in that way anymore. So I asked them if they had a tip jar. They did not. I offered to tip them anyway and at first they first refused. I went on to explain to them that for $10 entry and a $10 subscription I was able to see their show, listen to all of their music and listen to the entire Spotify catalog with millions of songs. And for all of my money spent, ASDIG was going to net, at most, $2.50 to split 6 ways from me and maybe they could use a little extra to put gas in the van. They accepted and I was so happy. With this one band at least for this one moment, I was able to come to terms with the inequities of the music business. I was happy, and I wanted to give this chance at happiness to other Music Fans and the Artists they love.
So I enlisted the help of friends and colleagues, both musicians and music lovers, to build a platform where Bands, solo Artists, Music Festivals and others can receive financial appreciation from their Fans, Friends and Family. The whole idea reminded me of a street performer playing in front of an open case and I realized that in today’s musical landscape all Musicians are forced at some point to give away their music for free, so why should the busker be the only one who can play in front of that empty case. Why can’t every band play in front of an empty case at all times to give Fans the chance to tip at any time for any reason? Now they can, so we called the company Busker.