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Last Updated: Monday, 10 July 2006, 14:34 GMT 15:34 UK
Music contest offers profit-share
A microphone
The contest aims to give musicians more "freedom and creativity"
A talent showcase has been launched for unsigned musicians - but the winner must share half of the initial profits from their first album with the public.

The Rock Star Lottery is to use a self-financing approach to bypass the major labels of the music industry.

Some 96 bands will be picked to perform in a 48-hour webcast, with fans paying 1 to vote for their five favourites.

The money will fund an album, and one voter will take half of any profit earned in its first six months on sale.

That person will also have a say in the way the marketing of the band, any concert tour which is organised and the sleeve art used on CDs.

The webcast will take place in October, with 10m "e-tickets" being given away to ensure the transmission does not crash with too many people trying to access it.

Voting closes in December with the winner announced shortly afterwards.

1.5m target

The competition has been organised by Steven Pitcher, a musician, producer and online radio presenter.

His label, Sherwood Forest Records, will provide the recording contract.

A spokeswoman for the contest said the self-financing element of the lottery was important to "keep the music industry completely out of the picture".

The winning artist would receive 100% of the album's profits from the seventh month onwards, she said - instead of the 10% to 20% they would earn if signed to a large company.

She added that the income from the voting would be spent on the winning artist, and it was hoped that 1.5m would be generated in the process.

However, she also admitted that in a "worst-case scenario", the voter chosen to receive a share of the album's profits could earn nothing if the release failed to take off.

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