When it came to bringing multi-level marketing into the digital era, BurnLounge was an early pioneer.
From 2005 to 2007, BurnLounge executives and presenters persuaded anybody who would listen that opening a digital music shop, effectively a BurnLounge franchise, was the key to financial freedom.
The BurnLounge music business did make a lot of money—for its founders, who were at the top of an illegal pyramid scheme. The money came from tens of thousands of wannabe digital entrepreneurs who bought into the plan, not from music sales.
If you want to know more about BurnLounge MLM, dig in and keep reading my review!
MLMs like BurnLounge are a bit of a mixed bag. They CAN be a legitimate way to make money, but some have a reputation for literally ruining people’s lives – so it’s important to know what you’re getting, since each one is unique.
Like most of my readers, you were probably introduced to this one via a friend or some influencer you trust online.
And it makes sense why so many people recommend them:
Making money outside of a 9-5 can be… life-changing, to say the least.
So in this article, I want to help you explore two things:
- If MLMs are actually a worthwhile business to pursue
- If BurnLounge is a worthwhile MLM
Before that, I want to clear the air on something.
There are A LOT of people out there who bash all MLMs in any form. However, I’m not one of those people.
Instead, I want to genuinely educate you about them so you can make an informed decision on how to proceed.
If you’re unfamiliar with what MLMs actually do:
They’re businesses in which you pay money to a company for the ability to sell their products.
Sometimes the products are actually kind of decent (I still remember my mom throwing Pampered Chef parties when I was younger).
Other times the products are really poorly made and come with a high price tag.
Typically, the only way to really make money is to get people (mostly friends & family) to sign up with you for a recurring subscription.
If the product is 100% legitimate & valuable, it’s entirely possible to get people to sign-up and continue paying you.
If the product is subpar, you’ll usually burn those bridges kinda quickly and end up with $0 coming in each month.
The biggest issue I’ve seen is that this puts significant stress on your personal relationships, as you’re reliant on selling to your “network.”
Think about it: if you KNEW that every time your friend Sally called, she’d be trying to sell you on one of her products… you’d eventually stop answering Sally’s calls.
Now, this doesn’t mean MLMs are outright bad… it means you need to know what type of MLM you’re getting yourself into before you sign up.
Again, some MLMs provide real value to people, but MOST don’t – so in this article, I’m going to explore what the case is with BurnLounge.
But before that, I want to ask you a question: what if there was a way to build actual recurring, semi-passive income?
- Doesn’t have inventory
- Doesn’t make you sell to your friends & family
- Doesn’t force you to recruit people onto your “team”
Something that you could make anywhere from $2,000 – $10,000 consistently, month after month?
A stream of income that you can build as high (or low) as you feel like building it?
If that sounds interesting, you might want to think about becoming a Digital Landlord.
If you wanna see what BurnLounge looks like on the inside, keep reading.
What Is BurnLounge?
The BurnLounge group was founded in 2004 and had its headquarters in the Big Apple.
Before Alex Arnold’s departure as CEO, the company’s main focus was the BurnLounge online music shop, which was associated with Orbital Publishing (founder and former chairman of NuEWorld.com and former CEO of Excel Communications).
BurnLounge, described as a multi-level marketing program by Gartner G2, uses the phrase “concentric retail” to characterize its business model.
How Does BurnLounge Work?
On the company’s website, patrons may read reviews, make purchases, and interact with one another through a custom client. Subscribers were required for customers who wanted to sell music through individualized websites.
Subscription prices ranged from a flat yearly rate to an annual rate plus a monthly charge.
Sales points could only be redeemed for BurnLounge merchandise at these prices; converting points to cash required additional expenses. Every 99-cent download incurs a five-cent cost, as reported by Fortune.
FTC Pyramid Scheme Lawsuit
At the Federal Trade Commission‘s request, a U.S. district court judge has ordered the leaders of the deceptive pyramid scheme to pay $17 million to compensate their victims.
The BurnLounge company deceived almost 56,000 consumers from around the nation by posing as a genuine multi-level marketing company and making misleading claims about the profits that might be caused by participating in the business.
The FTC accused the defendants of running an unlawful pyramid scheme, making misleading profits promises, and failing to warn that most customers engaged in pyramid schemes would lose money rather than make money. The agency claimed that the activities were illegal under federal law.
As part of its continuous efforts to protect customers from fraud and deception, the FTC filed a complaint against Burn Lounge in 2007.
BurnLounge advertised itself as a cutting-edge way to sell digital music via multi-level marketing, although music sales accounted for only a small percentage of its sales.
The FTC argued that BurnLounge is a prohibited marketing scheme or one of the pyramid schemes companies since it pays more for recruiting new store owners than it does for selling music.
According to the agency, BurnLounge recruited consumers from around the nation by assuring them that participants earned huge incomes. Investors may purchase shares in the BurnLounge organization for $29.95 to $429.95, plus monthly fees.
While members were reimbursed for music and album sales, most of their income came from recruiting others to join the plan.
The defendants are prohibited from participating in the pyramid, Ponzi, chain letter, or any other schemes in which the reward for recruitment is unrelated to the sale of goods to consumers who aren’t participants by the court’s final decision and order.
The order prohibits making false statements regarding multi-level marketing enterprises or operations, including statements about sales, revenue, profitability, or the legitimacy of the actions.
Finally, the court ordered the defendants to pay over $17 million to refund consumers burned by the scam. Juan Alexander Arnold and BurnLounge, Inc. were required to pay $16,245,799. Rob DeBoer was ordered to pay $150,000, and John Taylor was ordered to pay $620,138.
How Much Does BurnLounge Cost?
The court ruled that BurnLounge customers should be given their e-commerce site, so they created BurnPages. One of three options is selected:
There’s the Basic Plan ($29.95 a year), the VIP Plan ($429.95 a year), and the Exclusive Plan ($129.95 a year + $8 a month). In return for an additional $6.95 per month, customers participating in the Mogul program may earn reward points for promoting and selling music.
Are There Alternatives To BurnLounge?
Yes, there are plenty of other business models to choose from if you want to pursue making money online. Here are just a few:
Is BurnLounge A Scam?
So, time for the $1,000,000 question: is BurnLounge a scam?
No, not technically. They aren’t going to run off with your money and not give you what you paid for. It’s 100% possible to make money with this program.
That being said, it’s not nearly as simple as they want you to think it is.
There’s A LOT of work to be done upfront and no guarantee that you’ll be successful. The commissions are also fairly small.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for doing hard work now, so that I can reap the benefits later.
But if you’re going to work really hard for 3 months, and your reward is a $100 check… it’s not really a great opportunity.
If I’m gonna do that, I want the rewards to be HIGH and virtually guaranteed.
I’d rather put in that same 3 months of work (in my spare time) & build a handful of Digital Rental Properties that each produce $500-$2,000 checks every single month afterward (AKA recurring income).
And the cool part is that you can do it in a lot less time than 3 months (I personally did it in my first 2 weeks of being a Digital Landlord).
Unlike with MLMs, you can do it from anywhere in the world, so it’s a genuine “laptop-lifestyle” business.
All you need is an internet connection.
Some of my friends are Digital Landlords that run their 6-figure businesses from:
- Camping trips at national parks
- Beachfront in Hawaii
- On the road in a camper van (with a pet pig!)
They focus on living an enjoyable life first, and focus on income second. All thanks to this program.
They can take weeks or months off, and money keeps rolling in.
Living happily is the top priority.
If the thought of living perpetually at your dream vacation spot interests you, being a Digital Landlord might be for you!
What Is My Top Recommendation For Making Money Online In 2023?
I’ve personally tried all of the major online business models:
- I’ve sold fidget spinners through Amazon FBA
- I’ve drop-shipped a toilet bowl putting green on Shopify
- I’ve sold women’s health supplements via Clickbank affiliate marketing
And I made money with all of them, so trust me when I say: there is no “perfect” business model.
I’ve also been on the other side of old friends trying to sell me their fancy new MLM products.
That being said, my #1 recommendation for making real money online is, hands-down: being a Digital Landlord.
Whether you’re a complete newbie, or you’ve been around the block before but have never had that “big win” to propel you forward, becoming a Digital Landlord is for you.
Time: If you’ve got a spare hour or two each day, you can do this. If you want to drop everything and go all in, you can do this. More time obviously means faster results, but even putting in a few hours per day is enough to see real success.
And because of that flexibility, you don’t need to trade your time for money. Once the income starts, it’s recurring.
That means you can take a month off, travel the country, pursue a passion project, chill on the beach, or charter a boat across the world.
But you can only do that once you’ve created an income stream that doesn’t require YOU to be there all day, every day.
Ownership & Control: With MLMs, you don’t really “own” anything – everything belongs to the MLM.
If you read the contracts, they can kick you out or change your commission at any time (it’s happened in a few high-profile MLM cases recently).
Why pour your soul into a business that could be taken away from you at the drop of a dime?
When you’re a Digital Landlord, you literally own all of the assets, which means you have ultimate control.
Big Margins: With MLMs, you’re often going to have really slim margins. That means you need to have a VERY large network to make serious money. This usually entails spending A LOT of money on ads and other methods for recruiting members.
Being a Digital Landlord, your profit margin is nearly 100%. Watch here to learn how.
Just a reminder: these Digital Rental Properties are worth (at a minimum) $500/mo in semi-passive income. And each time you create another one, your income increases, and the effort put into creating the next property decreases.
Best-case scenario, you have properties bringing in over $3,000+/mo on auto-pilot.
It’s Effectively Copy-Paste: Here’s my favorite part: once you have your first Digital Rental Property up, you can literally copy-paste another version of it and find another willing “renter” in a few days. DOUBLING your income doesn’t get much easier than that…
If you wanted to double your income with an MLM, you would need to sell twice as much inventory. And I can guarantee you, that’s a lot harder than a few clicks & a phone call.
You’re Helping REAL People: My biggest gripe with MLMs is that you’re likely going to ruin your personal relationships.
The MLM may have convinced you that you’re actually helping people, but it’s often not really true.
But when you’re a Digital Landlord, you’re helping solve REAL problems that people are ASKING for help with:
Small local businesses around the world need one thing: customers. Without them, their business would fall apart. If you can provide those customers, they’re going to be really happy – and they’re going to pay you for it.
You’re helping a struggling mother or father put food on the table for their families, put their kids through college, or simply live life a little bit more comfortably.
Having this type of impact on the world is what will help you sleep soundly at night.
So, the rest is up to you. You could keep looking at other MLM programs like BurnLounge, which might make you money 12 months from now.
You could keep researching and researching for the next few months (or few years), never making a concrete decision.
OR, you can look deep inside, think about those dreams, hopes, & desires, and make the decision to ACTUALLY make it happen, just like it has for thousands of other students before you.
Making a fortune while actually helping real people that need it.
If this sounds like you, click here to see how it all works.