Marillion Fans Raise £360,000 For Band’s Next Album

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More evidence that cultivating close online fan relationships could yet sustain established musicians’ careers – Brit prog rock band Marillion‘s forthcoming fifteenth album is not due to drop until later this year, but the 24-year-old group claims to have already raised a £360,000 advance from loyal online followers. Some 12,011 fans have paid £29.99 for a deluxe version of the double-disc recording (working title: “M15”), which will be released independently by the band, a spokesman told Billboard. The pay-off for generous followers? Early-bird fans will get credits in liner notes and first dibs on 2008 concert tickets, plus private gigs. It’s the third album Marillion has made using the direct-to-fan web channel, meaning you can lump the act in with Radiohead, Slicethepie and others shaking the industry up. As with Radiohead, however, it’s an open-ended question how far an unknown band could use this model – consider that the highest-earning Slicethepie artists have so far only got about £16,000.

Photo: Maurizio Bonomi (some rights reserved).

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Marillion did this pre millenium and when the net was still young, they benefit from the fact they have a strong and loyal fanbase, who were willing to support this act and put their money where there hearts were to make it happen.

Lesson could be learned in other areas and put together for similar VC or direct-to-fan web channel models.

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