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Sellaband Logo
Web address
Slogan Where Fans invest in Music
Type of site
Social network / Music
Registration Required for buying parts, not required for listening
Available in English, German, Japanese
Owner Sellaband GmbH
Created by Johan Vosmeijer, Dagmar Heijmans
Launched August 2006 / Bankrupt Feb 2010 / Relaunched Feb 2010

Sellaband is a music website that allows artists to raise the money from their fans and the SellaBand community in order to record a professional album. Sellaband uses the mechanisms of crowdfunding and is to be seen as a Direct-to-Fan/fan-funded music platform utilising a Threshold Pledge System / Provision Point Mechanism. It was set up by Johan Vosmeijer (ex Sony/BMG), Pim Betist (ex Shell), and Dagmar Heijmans (ex Sony/BMG) in August 2006. Its offices used to be located in Amsterdam, Netherlands, but it was originally incorporated in Bocholt, Germany.

On April 8, 2008, Sellaband raised EU€3.5 million[1] (US$5 million)[2] in their Series A round led by Prime Technology Ventures.[3]

In early 2009, Pim Betist left Sellaband to set up Africa Unsigned,[4] using Sellaband technology as a base and supported by the Dutch government.

In January 2010, Sellaband filed for Bankruptcy.[5] It relaunched days later, after an investor stepped forward. The office was relocated to Munich, Germany.[6]

SellaBand 2[edit]

On October 1, 2009, SellaBand launched a new model that gave artists total flexibility in their fan funding plans and did not take rights. Any artist, signed or unsigned, could use SellaBand to fund any project.[7] The new model also incorporated the change, that artists are free to choose how much money the want to raise. The minimum funding target is 3000,-- and the maximum funding target is 250.000,--. Artists can also choose if they want to integrate a revenue sharing option into their funding. The minimum incentive is a download.[8]

Artists can now choose different project objectives they want to fund:

  • music recording;
  • record releases (digital/physical);
  • promotion and/or marketing campaigns;
  • live concerts / touring / festivals;
  • an exclusive fan product;
  • a combination of all of the above;[9]

On June 1, 2010, SellaBand launched a German version of SellaBand.[10]

On August 27, 2010, SellaBand announced that the Dutch Central Bank (DCB) got in touch with SellaBand to investigate whether or not the 'withdrawal option' at SellaBand was a violation of the law on financial supervision (Wet Financieel Toezicht/ Wft). From day one the DCB stressed that they were never under the impression that SellaBand was willingly violating the law. After a couple of months of investigating they came to the conclusion that it is a violation of the WFT (article 3.5 of the WFT) and that SellaBand, since SellaBand isn´t and is not going to be a Bank, has to stop the withdrawal option. SellaBand then had stop the offer to withdraw money deposited to SellaBand from September 1, 2010 on. However, revenue earned with investments made in SellaBands artists can still be withdrawn from a SellaBand account [11]

On August 30, 2010, SellaBand announced that the lead currency would be changed from US$ to after September 1st, 2010.[12]


Individuals interested in supporting Sellaband artists do so by buying "parts" in them. Believers can purchase any number of "parts" in a single artist or "parts" in multiple artists.

Until all parts are sold, the money collected from Believers in exchange for artist "parts" is held in an escrow account managed by a third party (Dieter Roesing, Rechtsanwälte und Notare, Bocholt), regulated under German Law,[13] and cannot be accessed by Sellaband or the artist. Any interest accrued during this period is kept by Sellaband.[14] During this time Believers may sell back any number of "parts" they have in an artist, which are re-deposited into the Believer's Sellaband account, and buy parts in other artists. No money deposited in Sellaband can be refunded to a Believer, but only used to buy parts in another artist, although any revenues gained on the platform can be paid out to a PayPal account upon request. Once the target is raised, the Believers' funds are committed to the artist and the Escrow Agent transfers the funds to Sellaband for the recording project, less 15% administration fees.


In December 2007, the company announced a partnership with[15] This was initially for the UK but has been successfully repeated with Amazon in Germany and USA.

In March 2009, SellaBand announced a deal to launch in USA with Chuck D’s music company, BTN (Bring The Noise) Management, in which the former Public Enemy front man will function as Sellaband’s "US ambassador."[16]

In June 2010, SellaBand formed a partnership with Soundcloud giving artists the ability to import the music they have on their Soundcloud account into SellaBand without additional uploads.[17]


Since its inception, Sellaband has conducted several Official concerts in Europe.

Other Unofficial SellaBand events have included:

Sellaband artist appeared at "Concert At Sea" festival (June 2007) held in Brouwersdam, NL.[citation needed] In addition, a number of concerts in Europe, Australia, and the United States have been organized through the collaboration of Sellaband artists and believers.[citation needed]

Sell-A-Jam © “One Night In Boston”[18] took place on January 25 at Boston's Paradise Lounge and featured Sellaband recording artist Lily Vasquez, with Sellaband listed artists Jon Robert and Delco, Jess King, and Wetwerks. The Sellaband Rio Grande Festival,[19] was held in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico on February 22 and February 23. On the 13th of November 2009 Rave 'n Rock artists Resistor headlined “Resistor presents Sellaband Live” at Amsterdams Club Panama with Sellaband listed artist Hangover Sunday and the Dial -a- Poets. [20]

Artists who reached their goal[edit]

Currently there are 86 artists who reached their goal already.[21] In December 2009 Cubworld was the first artist, closing his second budget.[22] Less than two weeks after bankruptcy, Aryn Michelle [23] was the first artist, closing her budget under the new SellaBand-management. In October 2010 Epyllion closed the first budget on Sellaband that is not used for recording new but for promoting of already released music.

In October 2010 Hind was the first Sellaband artist, reaching a top 10 entry. Her album Crosspop started on No. 8 in the Dutch charts.[24] She was also the fastest funding artist on SellaBand managing to collect 40.000 EUR within 11 days.[25]

Public Enemy was the first major artist to sign up for SellaBand with a target of $250,000 in $25 increments.[26] After a disappointing effort Public Enemy lowered their target to $75,000. They achieved this total on 28 October 2010.[27]

There are over 700 artists currently registered on Sellaband raising funds.[28]

The following table shows the most notable artists that reached their funding goal on SellaBand:

# Artist Budget Project aim Closing date Country Notes
1 Nemesea $50.000 Album 2006-11-02  Netherlands first artist ever to complete a funding on SellaBand
2 Cubworld $50.000 Album 2007-12-01  United States first artist ever to complete two fundings on SellaBand
3 Julia Marcell $50.000 Album 2007-10-05  Poland first eastern European artist to complete a funding on SellaBand
4 BulletProof Messenger $50.000 Album 2007-21-12  United States artist with most believers on SellaBand
5 Electric Eel Shock $50.000 Album 2008-25-06  Japan first Japanese artist to reach a funding goal on SellaBand
6 Hind €40.000 Album 2009-12-06  Netherlands collected €40.000 within 11 days and charted on #8 in the Dutch charts
7 Epyllion €1500 Promotion 2010-10-20  Canada first artist raising funds for promotion of an already released record
8 Public Enemy €59.100 Album 2010-11-28  United States first established artist raising funds on SellaBand
9 Jonathan Davis €25.000 DVD 2011-04-14  United States lead singer of KORN and first artist raising funds for a [DVD]
10 John Coffey €4.000 Album 2011-10-23  Netherlands first hardcore punk band that completed a funding on SellaBand
11 Lana Wolf €3.000 Album 2014-07-05  Netherlands artist that will record a country album in Nashville

Old Model[edit]

On October 1, 2009 SellaBand launched a new model which gives artists total flexibility in their fan funding plan and does not take rights. Under the old model the funding was restricted for recording an album, revenue shares with believers was fixed and the total to be raised was set at either US$50,000 or US$100,000 with parts at $10.


Some fans who invested in the widely promoted Public Enemy fundraising effort have begun to complain after more than a year without any communication from the band. With some fans investing over a thousand U.S. dollars, this could become a legal liability for both Sellaband and Public Enemy. [29]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pfauth, Ernst-Jan (2008-04-08). "Sellaband closes a round of € 3.5 million funding for international expansion". the Next web. Retrieved 2008-04-16. 
  2. ^ Butcher, Mike (2008-04-08). "SellaBand wins $5 million in Series A". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2008-04-16. 
  3. ^ Sellaband
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ Van Buskirk, Eliot (2010-02-24). "Bankrupt, Crowd-Funded SellaBand Acquired by German Investors". Wired. 
  6. ^ News - A little message. Sellaband. Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
  7. ^ News - Welcome to the All New. Sellaband. Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
  8. ^ Join. Sellaband. Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
  9. ^ Sellaband. Sellaband. Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
  10. ^ News - German version is online!. Sellaband. Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
  11. ^ News - Refund of money. Sellaband. Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
  12. ^ News - From Dollar to Euro. Sellaband. Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
  13. ^ Sellaband Tribune Article "Sellaband & Escrow"
  14. ^ Frequently Asked Questions - SellaBand
  15. ^ Kiss, Jemima (2007-12-18). "Amazon hooks up with bands site". London: Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 
  16. ^ Van Buskirk, Elliot. "Sellaband Launches Stateside with Ambassador Chuck D". Wired. 
  17. ^ "Website Update: 01/06/10". 
  18. ^ Sell-A-Jam on Myspace
  19. ^ Sellaband Rio Grande on Myspace
  20. ^ google: panama sellaband live |
  21. ^
  22. ^ Cubworld becomes first artist to close his 2nd budget
  23. ^ Aryn Michelle_LAST ONE... - album is being pressed and packaged!!. Sellaband. Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
  24. ^ Hind's album 'Crosspop' hits Top 10
  25. ^ News - Dutch artist Hind raised €40,000 in 11 days. Sellaband. Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
  26. ^ Public Enemy - Thank Y... - 100%. Sellaband. Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
  27. ^ Sellaband - News - Congratulations - Public Enemy!. Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
  28. ^
  29. ^ Sellaband
  • BBC Radio 2 Interview (The Weekender with Matthew Wright - 3 November 2006)
  • The Times (UK): Knowledge Section (26 November 2006)

External links[edit]