| 22 Feb 2024
Campaign to Uplift Indie Artists '500 Artists Wanted' launched by

MUMBAI: Independent artists facing lack of work amid the ongoing COVID-19 state of crisis have a new potential sponsor: (stylized MUSIC.COM), told Forbes that they have launched their “500 Artists wanted” campaign on May 1, the search to find 500 individual US-based artists to share their song story videos on the platform.

The open-call search is akin to “booking stay-at-home gigs” according to the company, with the site paying $250 to 500 selected artists and bands in exchange for sharing a story about one of their songs to the platform.

“We’re hoping to reinforce to the artist community the benefits, the power of storytelling as it relates to promoting their music, while at the same time compensating them to do so. We felt like it’s important to even frame it up as a paid gig in an environment where paid gigs are almost impossible to come by” says Robby Wells, CEO and co-founder of

The “500 Artists Wanted” campaign is the first wide-scale search to tell the stories of artists from ever since its soft launch in 2019. Amid planning to grow the platform’s reach this year, the coronavirus pandemic brought much of the American music industry to a halt, and the campaign is’s attempt to play its part in giving artists work while also bringing attention to its goals.

“We have a very shiny silver object in our domain name, using ‘MUSIC.COM,’ so just by setting up shop you have curious people trickle in to see what we’re doing,” says Wells. “And we haven’t done anything agressive to date to drive awareness of what we’re doing, so without a doubt this is our coming out party. There’s a little bit of nervousness that goes along with that, but this is the first time we’re recruiting artists to not only tell stories on the platform at this level but also making it known that we’re here and we’re attempting to reignite a culture of storytelling in music, and that’s really, really important to us.”

Wells hopes the project is able to help those artists most impacted by COVID-19, though clarifies that all who apply to the search have to have music available on streaming platforms.

The project is supported by the Sony Corporation’s global relief fund for COVID-19, and launched in association with Sony’s 360 Reality Audio immersive audio experience, which creates new ways of listening to music by mapping sound sources. From among submissions to “500 Artists Wanted,” 25 songs will be converted into the new 360 Reality Audio format and featured on

Hiroshi Nakamura, Senior General Manager of Mobile Product Business Division of Sony Home Entertainment & Sound Products, Inc, “As a company closely connected to creators and the music industry, Sony has been seeking ways to support independent artists impacted by the unprecedented challenges the industry has been facing,” “This project is the first step that we can take at this time, and we will continue working with MUSIC.COM, and other partners, to make positive contributions to the music community”.