Scott Fetters and his partners at Webceleb.com want to pay you to listen to undiscovered bands. But don't look at it as bribery, he says. Consider it an investment in the future of indie rock. “The system was designed to give emerging artists a community to distribute directly to fans by posting as much original music on the site as they see fit,” he says.
The split works like this: 50 percent of all transactions go to the artist. Forty percent goes to slice holder accounts on a descending scale of values based on numbers of purchases, and 10 percent is retained by Webceleb.
“Slice holders can use earned income to buy more songs,” says Fetters. “They can buy concert tickets, or they can actually cash out when their account balance reaches $20 dollars.”
Concert tickets? Webceleb is in the promotion business as well. “We book the venue and secure the date, but we have no idea who will perform,” says Fetters. After Webceleb announces the genre on line, fans “book” the shows through advance ticket sales. The bands with the most tickets sold win and end up playing the date. Webceleb is currently producing showcases in the San Diego area at Wave House and Sound Wave.
Webceleb is a dot-com startup that went live earlier this year. Founded by Fetters, Alex Rolek, and Justin Palmer in San Diego, Webceleb's target area is the LA-OC-SD complex and has a roster of over 2,000 so-cal artists. At present Webceleb claims more than 22,000 users.
The partners are working off of their own invested capital at this point, but Fetters says that Webceleb has been generating cash flow since the launch of the project. The timeline to actual profit? “Some time in the next six to nine months.”