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Tuesday
Oct212014

Rocket Fuel – What can a new Platform add to the world of Crowd-funding?

The concept of crowd-funding has proved one of the biggest successes of the last few years, with musicians turning to fans to finance albums, tours, merchandise and (probably) rounds of drinks for their road crew. Not only have there been thousands of bands running campaigns, but the number of platforms available for their use has multiplied too. So in such a saturated market, can any platform really bring something new to the table?

The team behind Rocket Fuel (rocketfuelhq.com) certainly think so. Working exclusively with musicians and bands, the platform claims that music lovers who visit the site can: “Help your favourite artists take off,” whilst artists are provided with a ‘career-funding’ platform to galvanise (and monetise) their fanbase. So what makes it unique? Rocket Fuel’s model differs from its more conventional crowd-funding cousins in two main areas:

Firstly, the platform is designed to source a regular income for musicians – rather than raise funds for a one-off goal (like an album) they set up an on-going campaign, where supporters are encouraged to donate a regular monthly amount. This allows the artists to build up a sustainable career rather than simply funding an individual project. That’s not to say that there are no goals – all the artists on the Rocket Fuel site have a series of stated goals, which follow on from one another. A typical pattern would be to fund a record, then raise funds to cover the costs of a promotional tour. A sliding scale of rewards that depends on the amount offered is familiar territory in the world of crowd-funding, and it’s no different here – however the regular contributions serve to encourage artists to provide their supporters with regular new content, and so to foster a continuing two-way relationship with their fans.

Secondly, the Rocket Fuel team work closely with all the artists involved, providing help with the content of their campaign and assisting them in planning effectively for their future careers. They can also access the expertise of their partner company, Sound Consultancy, who have been providing artist development services for over eight years.

One of the platform’s flagship artists, UK songwriter Philippa Hanna, is an excellent example of how on-going support can work. Just days after launching her campaign, she was invited to join the Britain’s Got Talent Winners Tour (one of the UK’s largest televised talent shows) for 31 large live dates. The costs of being on the road for over two months are prohibitive, even for a solo act, and as an independent artist Philippa would have no viable way to afford the opportunity without the regular donations of fans. What’s more, by recruiting supporters she will also have the finances to follow up with her own headline tour – without any financial backing from a record label. Since the launch she has raised over £2,000 and recruited a dozen regular contributors.

So can Rocket Fuel re-invigorate the crowd-funding market? Certainly. It provides artists with a platform focussed on building a long-term sustainable career, and fans with the means to become more closely involved in their favourite artist’s journey. That alone makes it stand out from the crowd, and in the current market that could just be the makings of a game-changer.

View Philippa Hanna’s campaign: rocketfuelhq.com/philippahanna

Find out more: rocketfuelhq.com/frequently-asked-questions-for-artists  

 

About:

Ian Griffiths is a UK-based Music Tutor, Writer and Promoter.

Rocket Fuel – What can a new Platform add to the world of Crowd-funding?

Reader Comments (1)

the site looks pretty good. brilliant idea as many acts need more than a one-off burst

October 22 | Unregistered Commenterpaul

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