Updated: Apr 6
In 1997 rock and roll investment banker David Pullman created the Bowie Bond. The idea was simple – offer investors the opportunity to acquire bonds secured against the future royalties of Bowie’s back catalog to date.
Clearly the weight of Bowie’s fame (what's your name), reputation as an artist and songwriter, and the small fact of one million record sales of his combined album catalog that year brought a great deal of attention to the bond offering. For a promised return of 7.9%, Bowie received a payment of US$55 million upfront.
A lot has changed in twenty-two years. The purchase of recorded music has practically disappeared, Bowie himself is sadly no longer with us, and successive efforts to pitch similar bond offerings secured against the intellectual rights of creatives haven’t managed to attract the same interest as Bowie and Pullman’s original launch.
Two other major changes have occurred during that time:
A revolution in the technology that underpins sound recording, film, and photography.The predominance of the internet as a channel for promoting and accessing an artist’s work.
Today artists have the tools at their finger-tips to record, distribute and promote their work to a global audience, without leaving their homes if they so wish.
But a perennial challenge that all artists face remains unchanged - the need to raise funds to support their creative endeavours. Rehearsal studios, gear, recording time and engineering skills are all expensive. There is, of course, a great fit (which was spotted early on) between the internet’s reach and it's payment platform technology with the artist’s need to seek financial support which gave rise to an explosion of crowdfunding websites. These sites allowed artists to engage their fans directly in exchange for rewards, to help raise money to record their albums, contribute to touring costs and promotion.
No doubt there will always be a place for the ‘crowd-funding-for-rewards’ model, but arguably the days of signed CDs and merchandise as an appropriate reflection of the value of a fan's financial support have passed. A bigger opportunity now exists where fans and supporters can actually share in the success of the creative projects they support. This is the 'income-share' model that integrates the operability of crowdsourced funding with the spirit of the Bowie Bond return.
The income-sharing model of crowdfunding offers creatives and their fans a genuine opportunity to benefit from the success of the artists and the specific projects they choose to support. Like the Bowie Bond, the attraction lies in the potential future earnings of the song, film or artwork. It provides all the familiar fundraising mechanisms – and can include rewards too – but will ultimately link the level of a fan’s financial support to a share of the income the project generates over time.
Over the next few months, EverShare will unbox it’s income-share platform for creatives, linking the established fan-based model for sourcing finance to future potential income streams as a direct benefit to supporters. But why here, and why now? As we connect more and more of our lives through the internet, our passions too will be able to use EverShare to put us at the heart of our chosen artist’s productions in new music, film, and art, with the very real possibility of receiving financial rewards for our loyalty in return. The internet is all grown-up, isn't it about time we took the next step in the creative industries too? #blockchain