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The cover song is the bread and butter of many successful YouTube musicians. Recording a rendition of the latest Lady Gaga or Taylor Swift song is a surefire way to draw in lots of viewers while also showcasing personal chops.

Recently, however, covering songs has become a tenuous process. Record labels want a cut of any revenue, and proper licensing is fast becoming a must. With that issue in mind, a new startup is attempting to put money back in cover musicians’ pockets. It’s called Song Backer, and it uses crowdfunding to raise money for particularly desired covers.

Song Backer allows fans to request covers they want to see from artists on and off YouTube. Participating musicians then turn popular requests into backable crowdfunding campaigns. This allows, at least in theory, for songs to gather a strong backer base before any fundraising begins.

Thus far, Song Backer only has a few participating creators, but expect more users in the coming weeks. Beatbox flautist Abram Wuliger is among the participants who have already completed successful campaigns on the site.

Song Backer resembles several other crowdfunding platforms that have emerged of late. Most notably, it uses a similar model to Patreon, which also crowdfunds creators on a project-by-project basis.

It may be hard for Song Backer to break into such a crowded field, but it has its advantages. For one, it is reaching out to a genre whose revenue streams are under fire. More importantly, as with its competitors, Song Backers offers creators a platform where they have much to gain and nothing to lose.

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