Universal Music Group has signed a label-wide deal with Talenthouse, an agency that conducts “crowdsourcing” campaigns to promote artists. In other words, they facilitate competitions on Facebook and other social media platforms for t-shirt designs, cover art, videos and other collaborative projects. Recent examples of Talenthouse’s work has been contests in which fans submitted designs for a new Deadmau5 helmet and a dress for a Florence and the Machine gig, and a t-shirt contest for Queen.
So far, Talenthouse’s campaigns have resulted in larger, more vocal fan communities run by the artists themselves, and increased awareness of artists beyond their usual fanbase. The company’s CEO, Roman Scharf, told Billboard that over 80 percent of people who submit designs in contests are not already fans of the artists in question. The Queen project was particularly successful on this front, which resulted in the band’s tally of Facebook likes shoot up from 6 million to 8 million.