2012 has birthed a barrage of artists enlisting the support of their loyal fans to financially fuel their next musical project, the most recent example being Aussie rock outfit Eskimo Joe using the Pozible crowdfunding platform to fund their new album, and Ben Lee successfully funding the release of his new album through PledgeMusic.

Now, two Australian companies are joining forces to take advantage of the fan funding phenomenon with news that Australian indie label Inertia has teamed up with crowdfunding platform PledgeMusic in an innovative partnership, aimed at providing a flawless retail and fundraising platform for artists.

Acts on the independent label – which currently works alongside such local artists such as The Herd, Chet Faker, Hermitude, Seth Sentry, and Dappled Cities – will now be offered full access to the PledgeMusic platform as an integrated part of their release campaign, creating new opportunities for crowd-sourcing, sales and fulfilment.

In the first partnership of its kind, the two companies will assist Inertia artists in creating effective and unique crowdfunding campaigns from their conception to their execution, which will be used to fund future musical endeavors such as album creation and tour budgeting.

Colin Daniels, Inertia’s Managing Director, has expressed his excitement at the world first label-crowdfunding platform partnership, saying: “In addition to valuable retail and digital channels, direct-to-fan platforms have become an important part of the commerce strategy for many artists.”“Partnering with PledgeMusic enables our Australian artists to engage global fan support early in their release plans,”

The partnership will also opens doors to the world market for Australian artists: “Partnering with PledgeMusic enables our Australian artists to engage global fan support early in their release plans,” added Daniels, whose Sydney-based company also handles the international distribution for labels such as Beggars Group, Secretly Canadian and Sub Pop.

Since its arrival in 2009, PledgeMusic has empowered artists with the tools and know-how to generate funding, through a direct-to-fan marketing platform, which sees fans or ‘pledgers’ contribute money to the artists to assist with the product creation through their website, a singular pre-ordering system, e-mail marketing, social media dashboard, and data widgets.

The PledgeMusic crowdfunding service has been successfully harnessed by high profile acts such as Ben Folds Five, who used the service to kickstart their comeback album The Life Of The Sound Of The Mind, The Libertines, Juliana Hatfield, LCD Soundsystem and The Lumineers.

More recently, Hermitude used the PledgeMusic platform to assist in pressing the vinyl for their latest release, ​Hyperparadise, as described in Tone Deaf’s ‘beginner’s guide’ to crowdfunding websites.

The east coast pair, also known as Luke Dubber and Angus Stuart, sent out a tactical SOS, asking fans for help in funding the pressing of the LP. In return, those who contributed in the operation had their name printed within the album’s cover.

“We were thinking that people could chuck in a little bit, and then we’ll just make up the rest, because we really wanted to press the album to wax” said Dubber.

The group had an overwhelming response, with some fanatics willfully handing over AUS $300 of their hard earned cash to the cause, thus proving the financial worth of a well structured crowdfunding campaign.

The partnership between Inertia and PledgeMusic will no doubt prove to be invaluable for artists looking to fund projects on their own terms.

The overall interest in crowdfunding has seen a serious boost in public profile, no doubt generated after Amanda Palmer stunned the music world with her whopping $US 1.1 million fundraising effort through Kickstarter; a true demonstration of the effectiveness of the relatively new fundraising tool.

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