Like all muso Guardianistas I read the story about Sellaband and immediately jumped over to have a look at the bands I could buy part of. The first disappointment is that all the bands who are gaining a lot of traction are really incredibly dull. If Sellaband intends to be something of a focus group on music then it's a depressing outcome with folky, souly, lumpen pub rock being the main recipients of most peoples money.
I chose some electronica bollocks which I think is good but to which I am rather in the minority at the moment. When it works the system seems good, you get to listen to some interesting music and you can put a stake in the ground and say "this would be even better with some professional production". However overall the experience is a bit depressing, the musical taste seems conservative and although 5000 people does not sound a lot it is probably a lot more sales than most bands make. A CDR release probably doesn' t go above 500 copies. There also a lot of intrusive advertising on the site and some of the flash items on the jukebox player actually end up showing you an advert rather than having any function.
On the plus side though there are some truly dreadful promotional pictures on the band pages. I find it hard to understand the logic of these. You are going to display a vision of your band to potentially thousands of people so you put your dad in the picture, you can't persuade the drummer to take his glasses off and drop the pony tail for five minutes or you mistakenly think that people desperately miss Venom.
Sellaband probably just shows why most bands can't get a record deal but I do hope that it leads to something interesting for decent independent artists.