Unsigned bands could soon be sitting alongside some of the world’s biggest music stars in the UK charts thanks to a new website.
Launched this month, OOiZit.com gives bands without a record deal the chance to sell their music as downloads from the site.
Not only does all the profit from each sale go to the band but if they sell enough downloads, they could be joining the likes of U2 and Madonna in the Top 40.
“A local band without a record deal could quite feasibly have a hit single by using this service,” said Tom Fearn, OOiZiT.com founder, which has its base in Basford.
He has been developing the idea for the past two years.
“I had a lot of friends in bands so I was aware of the frustrations of trying to get their music heard and recognised. And I could see how popular social networking websites such as Facebook were but didn’t have the necessary tools for bands to sell their music.”
The 27-year-old is one of 12 people running the website, which has been recognised nationally with features on Sky TV, BBC Radio 1, The Guardian and The Times.
“We launched just three weeks ago and we have 1,200 bands and musicians signed up already,” said Tom.
Subscribers create a profile on the website, including photos, biographical information, gig dates and, most importantly, music. Songs can be listened to for free by anyone visiting the site.
If an artist pays £10 a month for the Premium package, then they can have their songs downloaded by paying customers.
“They can charge whatever they like for a song or a whole album and 100% goes to the artist.”
The website is attracting around 3,000 visitors every week.
“It is early days but we are selling quite a lot of tracks already. We made our first payout this week of £70. Another has so far earned more than £100.”
Nottingham indie band The Swiines (CORR) have signed up to the service.
“I think it could be massive,” said guitarist Adi Young.
“I first heard about it from another Nottingham band and we signed up straight away. The obvious comparison is MySpace but with OOiZit you can sell your music.
“You can also get detailed statistics about number of plays, downloads, visits... and there are a lot of promotional tools to use to get your name out there.
“It costs us £10 a month but it’s well worth it. There are four of us so it’s £2.50 each a month for something that could get us in the charts.”
The big difference from other social networking sites such as MySpace or Reverbnation is that any sales count towards the official chart. The Official UK Charts Company draws from over 6,200 shops and website.
“Every sale that is made through OOiZit.com is now eligible for the charts,” said Tom.
“And to register on the charts these days, you’re not talking about millions, it’s more like thousands.”
In recent years sales of just 3,000 have resulted in a placing in the Top 40. The average Top 10 single will have sold around 25,000 copies, while 133,000 is usually enough to reach No. 1.
“We’re handing all the power back to the music artist. We’re like an independent record label and a download store rolled in to one.”
Tom, who has a background in digital marketing, said OOiZit.com is open to everyone.
“It’s for anyone making music, whether you’ve just picked up a guitar or spent months in a recording studio.”