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Entries in Crowdfunding (12)
In the past, money was a huge barrier for musicians, and one of the main reasons many were forced to tie themselves to a record label. Today, many musicians are finding their own ways to creatively fund their albums and tours, with the most popular option being crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is a huge undertaking, but, if done correctly, you can come out of it with a whole lot more than just money. It also presents dedicated and creative artists a chance to connect with their fans in a whole new way.
Learn how to run a successful crowdfunding campaign with these 5 tips
It’s been well over a year since our last contribution to our 1,000 True Fans series, but the ideology hasn’t aged a bit. The hustle and heart of the indie artist is still a necessity in today’s music industry, and the focus remains to have an all-encompassing view of every avenue needed to reach the widest possible audience, and tap into all possible revenue streams. Of course, there is not latter here without the former.
Cyber PR campaigns manager Andrew Salmon (@andrewgsalmon) sits down with Canadian singer-songwriter Robyn Dell’Unto to talk about Twitter, crowdfunding, user generated content, and seizing opportunities.
When most people who want sponsorships think about their ultimate goal, it involves money. They’re looking for someone to fund their event, to pay for their tour, to raise money for their charity, and so on. When many business think about sponsoring someone, it ultimately involves money as well: even if it is an incredible cause, at the end of the day, they want to know how sponsoring will help them get more customers. Each party treats the sponsorship as a transaction. However, I believe it is important to shift the definition from “a cash and/or in-kind fee paid to a property (typically sports entertainment, non-profit event, or organization) in return for access to the exploitable, commercial potential associated with that property” (IEG, 2000) to something more equitable: a partnership.
This article previously appeared on the Presskit.to Blog.
Written by Jem Bahaijoub
2012 was the year crowdfunding went mainstream. The success of Amanda Palmerʼs Kickstarter campaign threw the alternative fanfunding model into the limelight, and now most musicians are turning to their fans and friends for ﬁnancial support pre-release. But what is the best crowdfunding platform for you? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each platform? Hereʼs a helpful chart outlining the key features of four of the top crowdfunding platforms out there.
For many years, I’ve held some doubts about Kickstarter and crowd sourcing in general. For some artists, I thought it was a great fit for the culture of the band. However, for my personal band, I had some more reservations. I thought it could make the band look desperate or be a huge embarrassment if we ended up being pitifully distant from meeting the goal. However, we had a serious of setbacks that required large, quick funding and decided to give it a chance. Our band was able to raise $14,511 of our $10,000 goal for a new bus in 20 days. Here are some general thoughts, tips, and lessons learned:
Fan funding: it is the saving grace for the broke independent band. Where before bands couldn’t consider studio time or hiring promotional companies to support their release, with a little hard work, some social media love, and good old fashioned word of mouth spread, bands can raise the cash they need to fund their dream projects. With the big four players fairly entrenched in the field (PledgeMusic, Rockethub, KickStarter and Indie GoGo), it’s hard to imagine a new player coming into play. However, GigFunder has found a unique need to fill in the fan funding world.
Welcome to the final segment of a 3 part series that was inspired by a mastermind program I participated in with Ali Brown who is my mentor in the world of online marketing.
Here’s the recap of what we’ve gone over thus far…
There are three ways to increase your income:
Part 1. Increase your number of clients (fans).
Part 2. Increase the frequency of purchase, how often your fans buy from you. (and you’d better have more than just music to sell).
Part 3. Increase the amount of money that you charge…
Increasing the amount of money you charge poses a problem if all you have to sell is music because music is now widely available for free, and people have proven that they are not willing to pay a premium for music.
However, fans will pay plenty of money for experiences, like a great concert or a chance to be a contribution to an artist, a special memento, or wonderful merchandise that really resonates with your fans.
Anyone can make a record for next to nothing these days. Almost any other hobby is more expensive: photography, mountain biking, even video gaming. When a teenager singing into a webcam gets exponentially more views on YouTube than your latest “professional” video, the answer isn’t more money.You’re just not there yet. (hey, don’t feel bad - I’m not either) Tracking at Abbey Road Studios won’t get you there. Hiring T-Bone Burnett to mix your album won’t get you there. A full-day mastering session with Bob Ludwig won’t get you there. 10,000 pressed CDs with 18-page inserts won’t get you there. A $5,000 promotion budget won’t get you there either. No matter how much money you throw at your project, we’re all limited by a stubborn principle called free market pricing. People are only willing to pay what a product is worth to them, not what it costs to produce. The intrinsic value of music is in free fall, and people won’t pay for it if they’re just not that into you. So why are musicians flocking to fan funding (also known as “crowdfunding”) sites like Kickstarter, Sellaband, Slicethepie, PledgeMusic, and artistShare in droves? My guess is that they figure “why not give it a shot”? Well, I’ll tell you why not, and offer a better option.
Here we are at WEEK 9(ish): 60 days in, with 15 days remaining. Phil has $3,888 raised (39% of the $10,000 goal), and $6,112 needed to get to his goal. It’s been a journey to have a front row seat during this process. As you may know I believe that crowd funding is a vital tool that artists will be using for the foreseeable future and I have been blogging a series here on MTT called in Defense of 1,000 True Fans, where I have been interviewing artists who are proving the model and creating sustainable livings from their music. Phil points out that 200,000 people have been exposed in some way to his campaign and that 0.0003% people engaged. I would like to point out a few other things.
First of all I want to commend Phil: To have 60 True Fans or “Super Fans” (the amount of people who have contributed to his campaign so far) is no mean feat. Especially since Phil very rarely performs live and he has not had a mass exposure event (such as a placement on a major TV show). These are two factors that seem to make major impact for artists, according to the interviews I have conducted so far.
Emerging musicians are in an eternal struggle against two evils: funding projects and growing a fanbase. In the past, musicians have funded their own albums, and have used it as leverage to gain more fans. But artists on a fixed income may run into issues funding their own projects, which can have harmful effects on the quality of the final product.
Of course, the next option is to release a demo or EP and work on building a fan base, meanwhile shopping around for a record deal with a major or indie label. The benefit here of course is that all of the financing of the album is accounted for, but lets face it, this is not the easiest thing to pull off. Labels typically won’t even look at you until you’ve crossed the 10,000-units-sold mark, and unfortunately that is becoming an increasingly difficult task to accomplish:
…in 2008 there were 1500 releases that sold over 10,000 album units. Out of that there were only 227 of them that were artists that had broken 10,000 for the first time. So in the whole year only 227 of the artists were artists that had broken what we call the “obscurity line.” When you sell 10,000 albums, you’re no longer an obscure artist; people know about you. You may not be a star yet, but you’re in the game. That gets you out of the glut and into the game. We looked at the 227 and identified that only 14 of them were artists doing it on their own and all the rest were on majors and indies; a little more than half were on indies.
~Tom Silverman Founder, Tommy Boy Records
And more often then not, you as the artist are stripped of some if not all creative control, resulting in an album that may work for the fans, but doesn’t work for you.
I spend a lot of time thinking about how artists can make money and writing about how artosts can make money. One of the newer topics I am covering in my talks at music conferences and on my vlog series Sound Advice is crowdfunding.
Many artists that I speak to seem interested in crowdfunding but many seem hesitant because they don’t think its OK to ask their fans for money or can’t figure out what exactly to offer them.
This week artist Phil Putnam (who is also the sales director at Ariel Publicity and a Cyber PR artist) and Brian Meece the founder of Rockethub.com have started a new blog series called “The In-Crowd” which is insiders look at crowdfunding, and will answer these questions and many more that you may have about this topic.
Each Monday, the boys are giving us an honest look at a crowdfunding project in action and dish on how things are going. Phil is not only talented and a fantastic sales director, he is also hilarious and this blog series promises to be informative and fun.
I will be cross posting here with my two cents and I would very much love to hear about your journeys with crowdfunding. This first post will give you the 411 on crowdfunding a well as some solid advice from Phil on what you need to have in place before you attempt to launch your own project.
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(Updated January 13, 2016)