Carlos Jean’s “Plan B”

While I’m preparing a post about the situation of crowdsourcing initiativies in Spain, I cannot resist to make a comment about Carlos Jean’s project “El Plan B”. Surely this is one of the clearest cases of crowdsourcing and one of the CS initiatives that better are working here in Spain.

“El Plan B” is a project in which Carlos Jean, a musician and music producer, uploads to www.elplantb.tv the base of a song. Then, he invites everybody to upload tracks to complete that original base a form a song. As Carlos Jean said in the press conference in which introduce “El Plan B”, it amazing the strength and solidity of the songs, being that each one of the crontributors doesn’t know each other.

As a crowdsourcing initiative, 8 elements can be identified:

  • A crowdsourcer easily recognizable: Carlos Jean
  • A well defined task: the development of a track to complete the song base
  • An open call: in this case, using the project web site and the T.V. show “El hormiguero”
  • A crowd: the challenge is proposed to everybody, but will obviously answer to the call those involved professionally or not, to the world of music
  • A reward for the crowd: regardless of the economic reward (a subject about which I don’t have any information), the fact of highlighting as a musician in a project like this, becoming known in a massive way, is reward enough
  • A reward for the crowdsourcer: in this case, as Carlos Jean states, he obtains a disco which rights he owns. But not only that, because it’s not a normal disco:  2 of the 5 songs created have reached #1 on the charts
  • Internet as a fundamental support

The results of this project are more than encouraging: 5 songs already created, of which Gimme The Base reached number 1 on downloads in the Spanish list of iTunes, it has been #1 in Europe FM and Los 40 principales, along with the theme Lead the Way, and was number 4 on the best-selling songs list of Spain (04.25.2011 / 01.05.2011).

On the other hand, it is very important to clarify the participation conditions in this kind of initiatives, especially those related to intellectual property. ¿The songs built from the crontributions are of the crontributors, the crowdworkers? ¿are of the crowdsourcer? Carlos Jean said it very clear from the beginning, the songs are his own.

Another one of the aspects that makes this kind of initiative so interesting, is the possibility of discovering new talents that otherwise would not come to light. This is the case, for example, of M-AND-Y or Electric Nana. Electric Nana is a 23 year old singer from Madrid, unknown nationally until his participation in “El Plan B”. In the case of M-AND-Y, as she has said, she has gone from being an unknown in the musical world, trying her luck at an audition in London in which she was not selected, to be known, like Electric Nana, through his participation in this project.

M-AND-Y y Electric Nana

In short, crowdsourcing, applied in the right situation, in the right moment and in the right way, works.

Finally, in this video you can see how the different tracks are mixed to create one of the songs

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