Crowdfunding may seem like a new coined term but it's been on the trend since 2008. To define crowdfunding, it is a fund-raising campaign, mostly online, that targets the 'crowd' as the funders. Recently, a raising number of music artists jumps into the initiative and has successfully funded their upcoming records and other projects.
The Two Major Crowdfunding Giants
You might have heard of Kickstarter or IndieGogo somewhere. If yes, kudos for getting yourself updated of the recent trends. If not, don't fret! I'm pretty sure you'll get a hang of it in the near future. Oh wait, now is that near future. *hooray*
So, these two are the most popular crowdfunding sites to this date. In fact, Kickstarter has been awarded as one of the Best Inventions of 2010 and Best Websites of 2011 by TIME Magazine. (Whoa.) On the other hand, IndieGoGo was launched first (around 2008) and its initial goal is "for allowing anybody to raise money for any idea."
The Current State of Music
We all know that the current state of the music industry is not so well. Of course, organizations and artists alike who are passionate about the industry are working all they can to produce the best acts, the best records, and all the best to save what we have. Still, the industry is a haven to many controversial issues such as piracy, issues with record labels, unpaid royalties, and the list goes on.
"God is in the TV," as what Marilyn Manson sang about in his song 'Rock is Dead' which was released in 1999 when MTV is where we mostly watch and listen about the latest music, and Queen of the Stone Age song "God is in the Radio." The lyric is still applicable to this date with a little modification, "God is in the Internet." The phrase speaks for itself. When we asked about how our readers discover new artists, most of them answered mostly from the Internet.
The Funding Initiative
And so with the rise of crowdfunding campaigns and the current state of music, more and more artists resort to crowdfunding to fund their next project. If you are updated with our posts here on our website, we posted about how Protest the Hero successfully crowdfunded their new album and getting more than double their targeted fund, and Bert McCracken (The Used) starting a non-profit label using crowdfunding strategies. James Dewees from Reggie and the Full Effect also started his no country for old musicians on Kickstarter and received funds above what he expected when the campaign ended last April after 37 days.
How does Crowdfunding work?
Perks of Crowdfunding
Most campaigns accept as little as $10, around 400PhP in our currency. Kickstarter calls this a 'pledge'. Technically, the perks you'll receive get more awesome as the amount of your pledge increases. Prospect perks are: 'a thank you email' for $5, 'digital downloads' for $10, 'physical copies of the record' for $15, 'digital + CD' for $25, 'digital + CD + tshirt' for $50 and so on. Some even have limited slots for special limited edition packs. Getting all these perks directly from the artist adds a personal touch you cannot experience when buying from a store.
When does Crowdfunding DO NOT work?
Crowdfunding should not be considered the same as buying from an online shop. As Kickstarter recently posted on their blog, Kickstarter is Not a Store. As with other transaction you do online, there are risks and cons. Crowdfunding is called a campaign because it is a call to action. Most of the time, the action happens 'after' the project is successfully funded. The campaign creator (artist) and the prospect funders (fans) should have an agreement and it should be fair on both parties. Sure enough, if you trust the artist, there should be little to no problem and that the delivery of the product will not be delayed and will eventually push through.
Is Crowdfunding the Future of Music Production?
What do you think? Is this going to be the next step for the music industry? How do you think this will affect you as an artist or a fan? If you got any ideas, post them on The PULPnut Gallery section below.