Indiegogo's Top 12 Music Crowdfunding Campaigns of 2012

This Is Schematic

Indiegogo recently shared their picks for the Top 12 Music Campaigns of 2012. It's a nice mix starting out with one from George Clinton:

Fundraiser for C Kunspyruhzy and What Production Studios

"The renowned king of funk, George Clinton, ran a very successful campaign (over 600 contributors) to upgrade his music studio and secure the rights to some of his classic music."

The Banks House 2.0

"As the Banks House grew in popularity, its founders knew they would need to find a new space to share their music. The community helped them make it happen."


"Four Brazilian guys randomly met in Barcelona, started performing Beatles songs together, and then decided to record an album in Italy with the help of Indiegogo."

This Is Schematic

"You might recognize Dave Elkins from the band Mae. He ran a successful Indiegogo campaign to shakeup the music industry at the grassroots level."

BeachGlow Concerts for Charity 2012

"This 17-year-old DJ started a project to raise money for breast cancer research through electronic concerts."

The Glitch Soundtrack

"After the popular game Glitch closed down, fans wanted a way to remember the game. One of the game’s creators is helping people do just that by funding the soundtrack on Indiegogo."

Cossbysweater’s Debut Album

"Watch it [the pitch video], and you’ll understand why 361 contributors helped them reach their goal!"

Connecticut School Shooting Victims Fund Started by OneRepublic

"Unable to ignore the tragedy that recently occurred in Connecticut, OneRepublic started a campaign to bring relief to the affected families and community."

Yossarian – Debut Album

"With another great concept for a pitch video, the fledgling English band Yossarian got their contributors involved in such a way that created a viral loop."

Spock’s Beard — 11th Studio CD

"By offering exclusive perks they knew their fans would love, Spock’s Beard rolled well past their funding goal and toward its 11th album."

Cherry Suede New Album, Song Book and Tour

"Crowdfunding experts — the two Randy’s of Cherry Suede — engaged their fans with a funny and informational pitch video and then made it even easier for contributors to help their project by offering incredible perks — like a chance to go on tour with the band!"

Djore & The Drills DD Tour Campaign

"These headbangers turned to crowdfunding to help finance their tour. They hit their goal...times 3."

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

Kickstarter Music Crowdfunding Campaigns Analyzed by Launch & Release: 12/10 - 12/15

Slowly getting back into action here at Crowdfunding For Musicians. I'm going to intersperse the Launch & Release weekly roundups with my upcoming posts until I'm caught up.

Jay-Weinberg-Kickstarter-150x15012/15 Could This Band’s Kickstarter Have Raised More?

I realize the need to be artistically congruent with your identity and what your fans have come to expect from you, but people who like to laugh still like to know what the f&*k is going on. The Moral of the Story: Distraction free communication and laser focus is your friend when you’re trying to make a sale.

The-sammus-theory-kickstarter-150x15012/14 How to Help Your Fans Pledge To Your Kickstarter

The Sammus Theory shows us that we need to have a relationship with our fans. This can set up your project for a HUGE start and can set you up for long run success.

Michael-Joyner-Kickstarter-150x15012/13 First attempt at Kickstarter fails, second succeeds

Michael launched his first Kickstarter on a wing and a prayer. He thought “yeah man, $2500 would be great”, but he failed to start by making a list of his Circle of Influence.

The-fold-kickstarter-150x15012/12 Can Kickstarter Fund Your Career?

Kickstarter/crowdfunding is a fantastic tool in the career of an artist! Of course, it alone can’t make your career but it really, truly is a tool that, when used well, can help advance your career in a significant manner.

How Does a Solo Artist With No Fans Raise $8000 on Kickstarter?

In the early stages of your artistic career, people won’t buy the product you make, they’ll buy why you make it. Stacy couldn’t be a better example of this philosophy.

Brendan-Fitzpatrick-Kickstarter-150x15012/10 What to Expect When Launching a Kickstarter

Musicians like you and I get inspired and easily excited by our visions, but you have to put in the day to day work to see the vision through.



By Levi James of Launch & Release.


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).


Launch & Release Kickstarter Profiles: 12/3 - 12/8

Today we introduce a new feature at Crowdfunding For Musicians, a weekly roundup of the Kickstarter campaign analysis posts from Launch & Release.

Lr-12-3-112/08 Your Music Kickstarter Recording Budget
Know your album budget inside and out before trying to choose your Kickstarter Goal Amount. Assess your minimum viable project (the smallest version of your project that you can live with) and then set Flex Goals with two or more tiers of success.

Lr-12-3-212/07 This Project Shows How NOT To Do a Flex Goal

When using a flex goal approach to increase your odds of success, be 100% sure to clearly communicate the flex goals you are using.

Lr-12-3-312/06 Drew Kennedy Connects Fans to His Art
Connect your fans to the artistic process making it a shared mission to raise your odds of success. Pay careful attention to communicating this connection in an explicit manner through your spoken and written words.

  Lr-12-3-412/05 Can You Get Strangers to Back Your Band’s Kickstarter?
It’s possible to get pledges from strangers, but you need to be savvy and methodical for it to pay off. Know that the overwhelming majority of your pledges will be from people you’re already connected to.

  Lr-12-3-512/04 How You Can Fund a Kickstarter Without a Mailing List
First, increase your marketing efficacy by carefully cultivating a trusting relationship with your fans. It doesn’t matter if you use email, Facebook, or smoke signals, this advice holds.


 12/03 Death of Paris-A Purpose Worth Backing
Carl says to prepare beforehand, treat it like a full time job, and reach out for tangible interaction. He also uses the flex goal strategy.


I also wrote about Launch & Release in a post for Hypebot:

100 Music Kickstarter Campaigns & Other Resources
For Music Crowdfunding Success


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).