Believer FAQ.

Jeroen van Doorn
posted this on May 7, 2010, 14:02

Are you an artist? We also have an Artists FAQ.


What is SellaBand?
SellaBand provides an alternative to the traditional music industry. It is a platform that empowers artists to execute their next music project, funded by their fans. The fundamental difference is that instead of taking a financial stake in a project we enable artists to raise their budget from music fans. This will give them maximum flexibility and control over your music. SellaBand is able to support artists through the community and use it's economies of scale to put together some very interesting deals, however the artists are responsible for the success of their projects and their career.


What is a Believer?
A Believer is a music lover who comes to SellaBand and has found an artist he/she likes and believes in. He/she can show this faith by putting his/her money where his/her mouth is, e.g. by purchasing at least one Part of an artist. Until the artist has reached the Goal Amount a Believer can move Parts from one artist to another at anytime.


Why did you come up with SellaBand?
The idea came from a love of music and the frustration of hearing the same artists always on the radio, while so many talented artists remain unnoticed by the traditional music industry. At that time a small and select group of people in the music industry were deciding which artists were allowed to record an album and what the rest of world had to listen to. On top of that, because of declining music sales, record labels were signing fewer and fewer new artists. The effect was that more and more artists were not able to record that album that they have in them, and music fans weren't hearing the music they wanted to hear. So we decided to change this situation by leveling the playing field for both artists and fans. SellaBand gives all artists an equal opportunity to pursue a musical career, we are not the filter, it's the music fans who decide.


How does it work?
Artists upload their music and profile. Music lovers find artists they like and believe in. A predetermined (by the artist) Part price (plus transaction/administration costs) buys them a piece of the action. And this will make them a Believer of the artist. When the budget is reached, the artist will execute the plan. Fans get the incentives that the artist has offered. From now on bands and believers are in it together.


Why should I join SellaBand?
Because you are tired of the traditional music industry deciding who can record an album, thereby deciding what you have to listen to. Because you want to discover new talent and help them with the start of their career. Because you want to help established artists to become independent from the record labels. Because you want to be part of the creation of music projects. Because you want to change the way the music industry works. Because you want to make it possible.


Who can join SellaBand?
Every one with a love for music can join SellaBand.


Is there something in it for me?
It can be quite rewarding to become a Believer in an artist on SellaBand. First of all you will receive eternal love, hugs and kisses from the artist. The next reward is all the kudos you will get from your friends for not just discovering the next big thing, but also for making it possible. Still not enough? At the very least you will get a download of an (new) album. A lot of artists also offer revenue share and/or a (limited edition) CD. To top it all off, artists are allowed to offer extra incentives, where they can decide themselves what to offer Believers. Like what? Think autographed merchandise, backstage passes or even an invitation to the studio.


What is the Goal Amount?
The Goal Amount is the amount that an artist has set with which to execute their plan. This can range from anywhere between €3,000 and €250,000.The number of Parts in an Artist is equal to the Goal Amount divided by the Part price.


What is a Part?
A Part is a declaration of faith in the artist and his/her music. The most common Part price is €10,- (ex transaction/admin fees).


How do I join SellaBand?
Go to the Sign Up page, fill in your name and e-mail address and follow the instructions.


What does it cost me to join SellaBand?
Nothing! Yes, SellaBand is totally free, there are no entrance fee's or any other costs.


Can anyone be a Believer?
Well, almost anyone. If you are a fan of music, have registered on SellaBand and most importantly have bought a part in an artist; you have officially become a Believer on SellaBand


Can I invest in more than one artist?
Yes, you can. In fact, you can buy Parts in as many artists as you like as long as you make sure you have enough money left in your bank account to buy food and pay the rent.


I've seen artists offer Limited/Special Edition digipaks of their albums, what exactly is a digipak?
Digipaks typically consist of a gatefold (book-style) paperboard or card stock outer binding, with one or more plastic trays capable of holding a CD attached to the inside.


Can I still join in after an artist has reached the Goal Amount?
No, once the Goal Amount has been reached, all parties involved will be notified and the so called 'Gate' closes. So, if you hear an artist you like and believe in, make sure you buy your Part(s) in time before the gate closes! There is one exception to this rule: if an artist has changed his/her plan, Believers are given a two-week window to withdraw their parts. Even if the Goal Amount is reached during these two weeks, Believers are still allowed to withdraw their parts. If a part is “sold” during this time period it is available to be bought again by new believers. 


How do I report abuse?
If you find something on the website offensive or abusive, let us know by sending an e-mail to


Can I get my money back?
Your money can be transferred at any time from one project to another. Due to regulations from the Dutch Central Bank it is not possible to get money refunded to your bank account. You can either put the money in another artists or buy music form the SellaBand shop.


What happens to money of the Believers?
The money of Believers is vested in an escrow account, so we can not use it to buy any new and shiny cars. We can only get money from this account once an artist has reached the Goal Amount to pay for any costs involved with the artist's plan and to pay out money to Believers and artists.


Can I lose money on SellaBand?
No. Your invested money will only be used when your artist of choice has reached the Goal Amount. When this is the case the artist will carry out his/her plan. Before the Goal Amount is reached, you can always take your money and move it to another artist.


What if the artist never reaches the Goal Amount?
No worries. You can always move your Part(s) to a different Project.


How much money can I deposit on my SellaBand account?
In one go? We set the maximum deposit to €1,500. However, you are of course free to deposit this amount as often as you like. By the way, the more you deposit in one go, the less you will pay for transaction costs.


What about transaction costs?
Transaction costs include the costs of administration, fraud check, and a fixed fee for your bank or credit card company. Normally when you shop online, transaction costs are included in the total price but because of the unique character of the SellaBand program, we show the amount of transaction costs as a separate cost. By the way, the more Parts you buy at the same time, the less you will pay for transaction costs.


What is in it for me?
Apart from the emotional reward of making a plan possible, this is decided by the Artist. At the very minimum, Believers get a download of an album. The Artist can decide whether or not revenue is shared, (limited edition) CDs are awarded and if there are any extra incentives. With these extra incentives, Artists can showcase their creativity. Autographed T-shirts, lifetime backstage passes, autographed instruments? It is the Artist's responsibility to live up to any promises made.


I see revenue shares are expressed as a maximum value, what does this mean?
Some artists choose to share revenue only with Believers who buy at least a certain amount of Parts. These artists share their revenue pro-rata, meaning that for each Part, Believers who have enough Parts to get revenue share will receive a share of their number of Parts divided by the total number of Parts of the percentage shown. The maximum value of revenue share is thus only obtained if all Believers in an artist have enough Parts to make the revenue threshold. For artists who offer revenue shares to all believers, the maximum is always reached.


How can I earn money as a Believer on SellaBand?
Once an artist with revenue share has finished their plan, the net revenues generated will be split between the artist and the Believers involved proportionally. Some artists also offer a cut of the publishing revenue.


But what do I earn if I sell my music?
The net revenues percentage that the artist has chosen to share. Net revenues are the gross revenues minus related costs. These costs may include manufacturing, mechanical royalties, distribution warehousing etc.


OK, but what kind of return can I expect?
Honestly we can not tell you, and we will not. It will depend on what artists you believe in and how successful they are.


Will I keep get getting revenues till the end of time?
No, that is a little too long. If the artist has a project like a tour, you will be sharing revenues for as long as the project runs. If the artist has made an album, you will share the revenues for a period of 5 years, starting from the release date.


What is publishing about?
This is about the rights of an actual song, not a recording of a song. So it concerns not the performer(s) of a song but the composer(s)/lyricist(s) of the song. There are several ways publishing revenue is generated. The first is when a song is performed (played on radio, performed live, shown on TV etc.). This is what we call performance royalties. The second one is a fee for every reproduction of a song (download or on a physical product like a CD). This is what we call the mechanical royalties. A third important one is licensing royalties. These are generated when a song is licensed to be used in, for instance, a movie, TV commercial or game.


SellaBand gets a fee out of the budget? How much and why?
SellaBand has a team of people working full-time to assist the artists. To cover these costs SellaBand gets 15% out of the budget. For this fee, the team advices on the music project and helps with the execution of the budget. On top of that, SellaBand handles all the finance and administration.


How and when do I get my money?
At the end of each quarter we take our phones off the hook, set our mailboxes to out-of- office, lock the doors and windows, dust off the old abacus and get counting for a couple of days. After we're done counting and dividing-up the money, we'll deposit the money you've earned on to your balance. Why is this done on a quarterly basis and not real time? We need to take into consideration bounced credit card payments, charge backs and the fact that most of our partners work with quarterly statements.


What can I do with the money I have earned?
You can buy some new Parts in other artists, buy stuff on SellaBand or you can have it paid out to your own PayPal account. You do this by clicking on the big shiny Pay Out button on your SellaBand balance page.


The artist has reached the Goal Amount, now what?
We will get in touch with the artist, to see what has to be done to get them on their way to execute their plans.


What happens with my money when an artist decides to leave SellaBand?
Your money will be deposited back on your balance. You can choose to get a Part in a different artist


Can an artist leave at any time?
Yes. There are no strings attached so long as the Goal Amount hasn't been reached. If this is the case, the artist is obliged to execute their plan.


What are these incentives?
The idea behind the incentives is to give (potential) Believers an extra reward for buying a Part or multiple Parts of an artist. A download of the album is the standard incentive, the rest is up to the artist. It can include; a unique limited edition version of the CD, an award, or even a flight to the studio to see and hear them record the album.



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Nils Parmentier

$10 ???

can I get my money back !?  Didn't think so...thanks to the Dutch banking system ;-)

October 31, 2010, 02:55
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Jeroen van Doorn

Dear Nils,

I'm sorry to tell you that the FAQs are not completely up to date with all the announcements we have done on and around the 1st of September.

So, there is, unfortunately, no possibility to get your money out due to Dutch National Bank regulations.


October 31, 2010, 10:05
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Nils Parmentier

that's my should be up to date!

thumbs up for working on sunday's...

October 31, 2010, 12:16
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Jeroen van Doorn

Hi Nils,

Yes it should be. We working on an up to date version.


November 1, 2010, 09:47
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