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Public Enemy Loses Investors for Fan-Funded Album

Public EnemyLast October, Public Enemy announced plans to use music platform Sellaband — which allows fans to invest in their favorite artists — to round up $250,000 to produce an album and marketing plan backed by their fan base. The initial plan aimed to reach the $250,000 goal by the end of 2009, but when December rolled around, the group’s investments had only totaled $71,000. Because the total sum was so short of the intended goal, some investors made the decision to back out, bringing the grand total back down to $67,400.

Billboard Biz speculates that the group’s failure to reach their goal might have been the result of a few miscalculations. The first issue lies in the pricing options set up for fans. Investors had a few choices of donation packages with $75, $100 and $250 price tags that would award them with merchandise such as free CDs and limited edition Public Enemy t-shirts. Smaller investment options might have encouraged more donations, as a free t-shirt and CD is understandably not worth $250.

A $250,000 goal may also have been a little too ambitious for the endeavor. Most groups who have reached their target goal using the Sellaband platform set much smaller goals between $10,000 to $50,000. And while most of the groups asking for fan investments have been more local acts, Public Enemy has seen enough success in the past to make fans doubt the need to pour their hard-earned cash into an album. The final blow was linked to Sellaband’s inability to properly market it’s project via proper social networking sites to target new investors.

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