Universal Music Group Inks Talenthouse Deal To Crowdsource


The rock group Queen has invited videographers and filmmakers to create an original music video for their 1977 classic hit "Sheer Heart Attack" through crowdsourcing. The rockers plan to use the winning submission as a music video that will run across Queen's social media channels.

The campaign, part of a partnership between the Universal Music Group and Talenthouse, relies on crowdsourcing content, expanding the reach of artists to find new and existing fans. It's pulling in brands like Nokia, which want to sponsor headliners such as Queen, Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga and others for minimal cost.

CEO Roman Scharf calls it social crowdsourcing. "Each project happens with help from a community," he said. He founded the company in 2009, along with Culture Club drummer turned Creative Director Amos Pizzey.



Paul McCartney tapped Talenthouse looking for artists to design a work inspired by his music. The winner receives $1,000, merchandise, and a spot in a London art gallery where he will display the winning artwork. The sponsor ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi will feature it online.

Initial voting occurs by the member community and fans on social networks, such as Facebook, but the ultimate decision is made by the artist. Talenthouse's service is not yet available on Google+, but Scharf said as soon as Google releases an API the company will offer integration in the new social network.

Artists are starting to recognize this model comes with a different mindset; the prizes are "life-changing opportunities" and the reach is in the "millions," Scharf said.

Although Talenthouse can provide metrics from Twitter and Facebook, Scharf admits the company lacks one combined metric to determine reach.

Still, campaigns typically increase the reach of the person running the project by 80% through social networks and keep the site visitor engaged for between four and five minutes. Scharf said 1,800 people on average participate in one campaign, with the potential to reach millions on Facebook.

"U2 can go to their sponsor BlackBerry to support their campaigns on Facebook, telling them about six projects on Talenthouse," requiring about $1 million in support." And BlackBerry will say 'with pleasure, 200 million people on Facebook, that's the cheapest sponsorship you have ever offered me,'" he said.


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