15 posts categorized "Music Crowdfunding News"


Renman Talks Music Crowdfunding with Indiegogo's Karen Bair & Protest The Hero

Steve Rennie Chats with Karen Bair & Protest The Hero

Karen Bair is "Head of Music Development at the innovative crowd funding platform" Indiegogo.

Protest The Hero requested $125,000 for a new album via Indiegogo and received pledges of $341,146.

Note: The above video is probably not viewable if Firefox is your browser of choicer. Sadly, they seem to be continuing their downward spiral.


Music Crowdfunding Predictions for 2013


Crowd Surfer at Men Without Hats Concert (Courtesy Photos by Mavis)

2012 was a huge year for music crowdfunding. I wrote about some of last year's developments for Hypebot, titling it The Year Music Crowdfunding Broke. 2013 will be about what happens now that music crowdfunding has established its legitimacy as an emerging form of financing.

Tour/Concert Crowdfunding Leaves Niche Status

Music tour and concert crowdfunding began to emerge in 2012 with such events as the launch of GigFunder and the entry of Songkick into music concert fanfunding with Songkick Detour.

Though many one-off events can be satisfied with other platforms, crowdfunding tours or concert series require the equivalent of multiple crowdfunding campaigns organized for a single group or event producer. So concert crowdfunding offers a strong emergent niche platform.

What concert crowdfunding needs is a major success to educate by example through media coverage.

Larger Companies Enter the Game

Though Songkick Detour is taking its time and learning via short concert runs for a handful of musicians, their launch was a reminder that larger web companies focused on music, especially services for musicians, are likely to be considering the place of crowdfunding in their offerings. While some may want to start allied ventures like Songkick Detour, others may want to take advantage of the emergence of crowdfunding as a feature.

Music Crowdfunding as a Feature

Online ticketing service Picatic introduced event crowdfunding as a feature rather than launching a separate platform. Though not music-specific, Picatic illustrates how artist services companies can become involved with crowdfunding by adding it as a feature.

Growth of Music Crowdfunding Consultants

We're starting to see crowdfunding expert consultants emerge, such as Scott Steinberg, who includes music crowdfunding examples among the campaigns in The Crowdfunding Bible, and Levi James and Ian Anderson, who are open sourcing their development of expertise at Launch and Release. But 2013 should bring a bumper crops of experts available for consultation, some with experience and others just playing it by ear.

Waiting in the Wings: Equity Crowdfunding

So far the focus here at Crowdfunding For Musicians has been on the Kickstarter/PledgeMusic model of presales and rewards (to oversimplify their differing models). With the passage of the JOBS Act, the possibility of crowdfunding investment cash for music companies, which could include bands incorporated as businesses, became an option.

However delays on the S.E.C.'s part in issuing regulations means that equity crowdfunding may not become possible until 2014. At whatever point things come together, equity crowdfunding will certainly have an impact on music crowdfunding but the nature of investments means it will have a different and possibly unanticipated look.

Got any predictions about music crowdfunding in 2013? Please share in the comments!

Crowdfunding For Musicians is authored by Clyde Smith (@crowdfundingm).


Kickstarter Joins PledgeMusic, IndieGoGo & RocketHub in Offering Music Crowdfunding in the UK

The iconic crowdfunding platform Kickstarter is now accepting projects from the UK. Kickstarter announced the move three weeks ago and let folks start setting up campaigns at that point.

Today those campaigns began going live and a game was first up.

According to today's announcement UK projects will be mixed in with US projects which establishes an approach that will likely continue when they start adding other countries. Given that the location-related information on the site is city-based and you have to search for the majority of cities by inputting the name this move may be a long-term negative on discoverability. Then again, you can't depend on the platform for promotion so it might not really matter.

Note that "backers from anywhere in the world can pledge to any project on Kickstarter." In addition, co-founder Yancey Strickler says they will be expanding to other nations soon.

For a few more details on Kickstarter in the UK please see the announcement.

Music Crowdfunding Competitors in the UK

PledgeMusic is probably the strongest contender in the music crowdfunding space for fanfunded album campaigns. In terms of ruling a niche, they are kings in that domain.

Kickstarter's two biggest overall competitors are IndieGoGo and RocketHub, both of which are available globally as is PledgeMusic (double checking that now).

Kickstarter's brand may well allow it to trump both IndieGoGo and RocketHub. But PledgeMusic has a powerful music-specific brand so Kickstarter should represent a chance to raise awareness of crowdfunding across the board.

However, PledgeMusic has an adamant stance that they are not a crowdfunding site. I consider it a counterproductive stance in that they don't offer clear alternative terminology in a form that doesn't sound like crowdfunding. But given that everybody outside of PledgeMusic will categorize them as a crowdfunding site, they should still benefit from raised awareness of crowdfunding.

Related Crowdfunding For Musicians Coverage:
Kickstarter Announces UK Launch Plans Via Twitter

Crowdfunding For Musicians is authored by Clyde Smith (@crowdfundingm).


Songkick Lets Fans Build Andrew Bird's South American Tour For Him [Repost from Techdirt]

andrew bird detourjam music concert crowdfunding campaign

Andrew Bird's South American Campaign (Via Songkick Detour)

[Repost of Techdirt article written by Mike Masnick, 10/23/12]

Over the last few weeks, we've been talking about Songkick's new "Detour" feature, which artists are using to set up shows in "off the beaten track" places, where they'd be unlikely to tour normally, but via Songkick, they discover there are enough fans to make it worthwhile. Considering how often we hear from musicians that touring is such a crap shoot on whether or not you'll make money, it's great to see more tools spring up to help take away that risk.

There are a few interesting side effects of all of this. First, beyond just taking some of the risk out of touring, it's also helping artists find different fans they can reach via touring. That doesn't mean they drop existing places, but that they can expand their opportunities. But the second, and perhaps more interesting aspect, is the social one -- in which fans have been using Detour to bring in more fans. That's because one of the ways that Detour can be used is to effectively have a competition, in which cities compete to see which one has more fans willing to crowdfund an appearance by an act they love.

The latest to jump into the Detour pool is a pretty big name artist: Andrew Bird was unsure if it would make sense for him to do a South American tour, but is now using Detour to make sure it's financially viable -- and to figure out what cities he should visit on the tour.

"I've been wanting to go to these countries for years because I'm a fan of their rich musical traditions. Songkick Detour seems like a brilliant idea as it gives me a sense of connection to the people before I go there."

There's a competitive element to this. There are twelve cities (in nine countries) competing (the twelve were picked by going through Songkick's data, to see where Bird had lots of fans -- sometimes in surprising places) for six open slots for shows in February of next year. The setup is basically that the first six shows that have fans crowdfund 250 tickets get the open slots for the gigs. It will be interesting to see if fans in the different cities rally to encourage fans to buy in to get the concert.

These efforts remain very experimental, so who knows how well they'll succeed long term, but I love the fact that we're still seeing unique innovations in different aspects of the music business. Obviously, for many artists, touring has become a bigger part of their revenue stream lately -- but it's also one part of the business that many artists complain has extremely high costs and risks. The system has been inefficient for years, allowing the business to bleed musicians. So it's encouraging to see more attempts to improve the efficiency of the concert business -- and doing so in a way that gets more fans connected to bands, and allows acts to find "out of the way" places to play live, while minimizing the risk of doing so.

Related Crowdfunding For Musicians Coverage:
Detour and Bandtastic Enter the Music Concert Crowdfunding Arena

Crowdfunding For Musicians is authored by Clyde Smith (@crowdfundingm).

Crowdsourcing A Live Show Lets Fans Spread The Word About How Awesome You Are [Repost from Techdirt]

hot chip in concert at songkick detour show

Hot Chip Performing at Songkick Detour Show (Via Songkick)

[Repost of Techdirt article written by Mike Masnick, 10/15/12]

We recently wrote about a new feature from Songkick, called Detour, that can be used to crowdsource a concert to guarantee for a performer that it's worth going to a show there. Songkick now has another example, which is even more interesting. This one isn't just about pre-proving a profitable demand level for a show, but about engaging with fans, finding new fans and really getting people engaged. It involved the band Hot Chip, who had an open day in their European tour, and was hoping to use it to play a "smaller" town -- one that many tours for similarly popular bands were bypassing.

Songkick found 3 towns that the band hadn't headlined before -- and then let the three towns compete. What's interesting is how people in one town -- Folkestone -- went above and beyond to make it happen:

What happened next though was incredibly exciting. A bunch of superfans in Folkestone decided that they were going to make it happen. As one fan said, "Most bands don't come to this part of Kent, they tend to stop at London." They got super proactive and started to email all their friends and even petitioned the local radio station and newspaper. It exploded and went completely viral in a matter of hours through fan to fan word of mouth marketing, Hot Chip sold out. Check out the sales curve of pledges for the show, the huge viral spike is when fans started to self-organise.

songkick detour chart for hot chip

Songkick has some interesting data points:

Some interesting things we learned:
- 70% of the people who pledged had never seen Hot Chip before. Detour is really creating new fan to artist connections.
- 66% of the attendees found out about the show through their friends (The rest from Songkick and Hot Chip)
- 1 (amazing) fan emailed over 2000 people they knew to try and spread the word.

In other words, such a platform isn't just about fans getting an act to show up somewhere, but also about getting fans to spread the word, to evangelize and to help build the fanbase much bigger. One thing we've definitely noticed about successful crowdsourcing campaigns is that they tend to create a sense of "ownership," which means that supporters have incentive to get their friends to support things too, which is a different form of "viral" marketing. Songkick notes, also, how far fans will go to support acts they like:

I think the thing that really blew me away was the level of self-organisation amongst fans. In a world where half the music industry is still focused on complaining about file sharing, people often forget that fan is short for fanatic. Hot Chip's fans are incredibly passionate about them and figured out a way to self-organise to make this show happen.

Now, there is one caveat that Songkick doesn't mention that could be worth exploring as well. While it is great for those in and around Folkestone, does it upset those in Stoke or in York who are fans, but who didn't "win?" It seems possible, though hopefully they went into this understanding that was a possibility. Either way, we see that doing these kinds of things isn't just about pleasing existing fans, but finding more fans as well.

Related Crowdfunding For Musicians Coverage:
Detour and Bandtastic Enter the Music Concert Crowdfunding Arena

Crowdfunding For Musicians is authored by Clyde Smith (@crowdfundingm).

Songkick Helps Fans Bring Their Favorite Musician To London [Repost from Techdirt]

Tycho - A Walk (Live in London at Songkick Detour Show)

[Repost of Techdirt article written by Mike Masnick, 10/4/12]

When we talk about alternative business models for music, one that always is discussed is live performances. Like it or not, this is a very big (and growing at a rapid rate) part of the market. We've never argued that live performance is the only alternative business model (though some pretend we've said that), but it's hard to deny that it is an area of opportunity for many artists.

Now, many people -- quite rightly -- point out that the aggregate data on touring doesn't tell the whole story. Big acts with massive tours can take in lots and lots of money, while it can be quite difficult for acts that don't have that level of support. We've heard the story plenty of times of bands going on tour in a crappy old van, only to show up in places and play for 5 people who don't care, having spent much more on gas to get to the venue than they make from the door. This absolutely happens. And it sucks for bands. But there's no reason that needs to happen.

We've talked about alternative ways of touring, and even how artists like Jonathan Coulton used tools like Eventful to have fans prove there was enough demand at a location before he'd perform there. We've also talked about how there were a growing number of tools that can make touring/live efforts more effective and less likely to lose money. And one of those tools is Songkick, which already helps alert people to concerts they may be interested in, with evidence that services like that, alone, help drive more people to shows.

But now Songkick is expanding even more, with a new effort called Detour -- which has some similarities with Eventful. Songkick talks about how they were able to "crowdfund" getting musician Tycho from his home in San Francisco to London for the first time to perform, by gathering up a ton of his fans to prove that there was demand.

Tycho's manager had been worried about doing any sort of European tour, because it's expensive to get there, and if the fanbase wasn't there, you're making a huge bet. Enter Songkick Detour:

We chatted to Tycho and his team and it seemed like they’d need to sell a few hundred tickets to make it feasible to come to London, so we created a simple website, Detour to allow Tycho fans to pledge. What happened next was pretty insane! We emailed the fans on Songkick who were tracking Tycho, and over 100 of them pledged money for a ticket. Gideon was pretty thrilled to see how many other people shared his passion for Tycho.

But 100 or so wasn’t enough to get the show confirmed so the Songkickers took it into their own hands & started to contact friends and music fans who were either into Tycho or should be! Within a short while we hit our target and the gig was on! Wow.

Boom. But it didn't end there. As Ian Hogarth notes in the post, because the show was crowdfunded, it also changed the nature of it. Just as we've seen with other crowdfunding efforts, it gives supporters some sort of effective feeling of ownership and thus making the event successful isn't just about going to a cool show, but about really being a part of a success story. And that can take things to another level:

To be honest at that point I didn’t think things could get much cooler. To see fans rise up to help their favourite artist go and tour in a new country was overwhelming. The sense of community and excitement was really special. But then I went to the concert itself and realised the real power of this concept.

Everyone at that show was there because they made the gig happen and the atmosphere reflected that. It was beyond intimate and the connection between the band and the fans that started online carried into the gig itself. One of the fans that came made this lovely video of the show and you can get a feel for how special the atmosphere was. Tycho was so appreciative of the fans that made it happen, and brought over some beautiful signed posters for the event which he gave to some of the first fans who pledged.

No one has ever claimed that there's a magic bullet for success in the music business (or any business). But the status quo does not need to be the way things stay. There are all sorts of opportunities to make live music better, more efficient and more enjoyable for everyone. And it seems like this little effort from Songkick is a nice step in that direction.

Related Crowdfunding For Musicians Coverage:
Detour and Bandtastic Enter the Music Concert Crowdfunding Arena

Crowdfunding For Musicians is authored by Clyde Smith (@crowdfundingm).


Online Ticketing Service Picatic Launches EventTilt for Event Crowdfunding

EventTilt - CrowdFund Your Next Event

Picatic is an online ticketing service that appears to be focused on the U.S. and Canada. Ticketing services are currently an extremely crowded field but Picatic is distinguishing themselves with the launch of EventTilt, an event crowdfunding feature.

I can't find a separate page for EventTilt but the basic idea they're promoting is that the feature can be a way to test if there's demand for one's event without having to commit to an event that might fail. If the demand is there, then the crowdfunding element functions as early presales and the event goes into normal presales mode.

Though not music-specific, music is certainly included in their events. For example, Aaron Adair is crowdfunding SASK. Soul Music and SASK. Soul Food, a "listening party/food event for Aaron Adair's upcoming album, AANALOG" with the help of Chef Jenni. Crowdfunding participants receive a copy of the album.

EventTilt's pitch is a bit different from the current crop of music concert crowdfunding services discussed in the posts linked below. So far, other services are focusing on bringing a band to a specific location or setting up tour dates. EventTilt is focusing on testing sales for an event which fits their broader service for all kinds of events.

EventTilt also indicates the potential for ticketing services who already handle events, especially those with strong brands and an established two sided market, to get into the music concert crowdfunding space and squeeze out niche operators. For companies focused on music concert crowdfunding alone this means leveraging domain expertise and developing services that fit musicians' unique needs as niche services are all currently doing.

In many ways we're still in the early stages of music concert crowdfunding but we already have an increasingly crowded field. Once some of these services get more established and show more results VC-funded copycats will follow resulting in an eventual shakeout. Clearly living in interesting times is a better proposition for some than for others!

Related Crowdfunding For Musicians Coverage:
Detour and Bandtastic Enter the Music Concert Crowdfunding Arena
Queremos! Brings Music Concert Crowdfunding from Brazil to the States
GigFunder: Cowgill Kicks Off First Crowdfunded Tour Plus Platform Updates

Crowdfunding For Musicians is authored by Clyde Smith (@crowdfundingm).