Much ado has been made recently about Lena Dunham’s intention to invite seven lesser known artists to warm up the crowds during her upcoming book tour, without actually paying them.
More generally, it seems like there has been a growing backlash against the idea that it’s OK to offer artists “opportunities” for “exposure” without actually paying them, when the people making the offers stand to benefit financially from the arrangement.
Apparently, StoryPress hasn’t gotten the message. My wife, who is a professional storyteller, just received this email from them:
My name is Rachel Donnan and I am the Associate Product Manager at StoryPress Inc. We are launching a new type of storytelling and sharing platform for mobile and web, and are seeking out professional storytellers to create “flagship” stories to showcase on our website and app.
StoryPress will prominently feature professional storytellers but also stories from individuals, nonprofits, corporations, comedians, podcasters, etc…We are describing the app as the “Instagram of Stories”. If this is something you would be interested in, please let me know. It can be done remotely on an iPad, iPhone, or on your web browser. Also, if you know of any other storytellers that may be interested, please give them my contact information.
As a new social networking platform built on stories, we can promise lots of free PR to early adopters as we bring on the first 20,000 users in October who will be anxious to hear some amazing stories! The stories are embeddable, so as soon as you create one, you can share on your website, email lists and social media. The story is your own and the product is 100% free. I would love to set up a time to speak with you over the phone about StoryPress and how you can benefit. Please let me know some days and times that would be convenient for you.
In other words, “Please give us free, high-quality content which will drive traffic to our site and help us build our revenue stream, so that somebody big will offer to acquihire us and our investors can cash out with a handsome profit. Oh, and by the way, we’re not going to pay you anything.”
No thanks, StoryPress.