Your Money, Money, Money please - Abba ask fans for £195 pledges on direct-to-fan website

Pop group use site to sell special editions of souvenir book in anniversary year

The emergence of crowd-funding websites, allowing fans to pledge money to their favourite acts, has delivered a lifeline to struggling artists who can no longer rely on largesse from the music industry. Yet even Abba – the proprietors of a billion-pound business – are now asking their fans to help produce their next official release by ordering pre-sale copies at nearly £200 a go.

The Swedish quartet, whose catalogue of hits is exceeded only by The Beatles, are the latest but surely the least needy hopefuls touting their wares on PledgeMusic, the “direct-to-fan” platform that allows musicians to fund their latest projects in return for guaranteeing an “experience” for their pledgers.

The Abba offer is nestled among appeals by DIY artists seeking £20 for a signed set list and exclusive T-shirt to help fund the recording of a new album. But in asking followers to help pay for the production of The Official Abba Photo Book, the Swedish pop stars are seeking a more sizeable sum.

The four – who have sold 400 million records, earning  the songwriters Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus £100m each – are releasing the limited-edition, authorised history of the band’s career next April, marking the 40th anniversary of their breakthrough win in the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest. The 460-page book has a foreword contributed by each member of Abba and previously unseen photographs.

For £195, the PledgeMusic appeal offers fans the chance to receive a Super Trouper limited edition, restricted to 5,000 copies, which includes “an extra section of 20 pages listing all the dedicated fans who have made this limited edition possible”.

The appeal says: “If you order before December 31st your name will be inscribed in the pre-order edition. Make history and be a part of creating this extraordinary edition!”

The special edition, “presented in a beautiful bespoke presentation box”, is numbered and signed by the band and includes postcards, “a rare alternative shot from the cover shoot for Super Trouper perfect for framing” and a DVD of the making of Abba’s “first major authorised photo book”.

The first four copies “are reserved for the group members. Agnetha, Frida, Björn and Benny will be ceremoniously presented with their copies on publication”.

PledgeMusic, launched in 2009 to offer artists “additional revenue streams and deeper fan engagement”, claims that on average its campaigns raise 142 per cent of their target figure.

Abba are not the only established artists to use it. Downton Abbey actress Elizabeth McGovern is offering a 15-minute Skype chat for £50 to support the new album recording by her band, Sadie and the Hotheads.

West End star John Barrowman is making himself available for a hotel champagne tea in January for £150. “Let me entertain you,” the actor says.

Hardcore fans of Nineties girl-group B*Witched, now on the comeback trail, will be treated to a “dance and choreography class to learn B*Witched routines and the famous B*Witched line dance” for £50.

Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Radio
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
film
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Comics
Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
music
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

music
Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
William Shakespeare on the cover of John Gerard's The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

books
Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones review
Arts and Entertainment
Grayson Perry dedicates his Essex home to Julie

Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treat

tv
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the original Swedish version of the sci-fi TV drama ‘Real Humans’
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Keays-Byrne plays Immortan Joe, the terrifying gang leader, in the new film
filmActor who played Toecutter returns - but as a different villain in reboot
Arts and Entertainment
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Hynes in W1A
tvReview: Perhaps the creators of W1A should lay off the copy and paste function spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Power play: Mitsuko Uchida in concert

classical
Arts and Entertainment
Dangerous liaisons: Dominic West, Jake Richard Siciliano, Maura Tierney and Leya Catlett in ‘The Affair’ – a contradictory drama but one which is sure to reel the viewers in
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Herring, pictured performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival two years ago
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Music freak: Max Runham in the funfair band
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
film 'I felt under-used by Hollywood'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine