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GARAGEBAND TURNS ON THE FUNDS
Bands Compete For Listener Ratings, Cash Money And A Set Of Luggage
As the dot-bomb climate forces companies to scale back on spending, Garageband is offering cash advances to bands selling CDs on the site.

The company asks listeners to rate songs uploaded onto its website. Bands that come out on top of the competition become qualified for the funds, in exchange for giving Garageband an option on three future recordings.

The cash is pretty decent, however: For a $10,000 advance bands are given a target of selling 1,000 CDs through the website. A $20,000 advance sets a 2,500 sales target and a $50,000 advance sets a target of 30,000. A $500,000 advance would put them on our radar.

When a band hits its goal, it becomes eligible for Garageband’s $250,000 deal, which funds a new recording, made with one of several producers who work with the website.

Of the roughly 35,000 bands that have uploaded tracks, nine have signed contracts thus far. The first of four company-produced CDs is expected to drop later this year.

"By next year, we'll be working with 60 bands a year, as opposed to six bands," said Garageband CEO Tom Zito. "We are making seed investments and follow-on investments. By next spring, they should bloom beautifully, with my combination of eggshells and Miracle Grow."

Garageband plans to get most of its revenue from selling CDs it produces. Also, the company has raised $17.3 million, with commitments for another $10 million in funding.

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