Here’s a crazy idea for a company: The sole purpose and activity will be to negotiate a cut-rate price for the rights to an album shelved by a label. Once we have the number, we do a hybrid groupon/kickstarter model where if we hit the number, we buy the album rights and prepare for release. Any money over the initial number goes to marketing the release (digitally only) or perhaps a limited physical release. Everyone who pledged gets the album of course, and profits from sale to the general public are distributed to those who pledged – proportional to the amount they invested.
There’s a little more to it legally of course, but it’s still an interesting idea.