Amanda Palmer Raises $1.2 Million On Kickstarter, And The Crowd Goes Wild

from the awesomeness dept

We've written a bunch about the amazing success of the Amanda Palmer Kickstarter campaign, powered by Amanda's amazing ability to build an army of fans, by connecting with them day after day after day.

The campaign completed last night, with a grand total of $1,192,793 raised from 24,883 fans -- an average of nearly $50 per person. Not bad at all.

Once again, as we saw with Louis CK, this seems to put to rest two key "myths" that we often hear from supporters of the legacy industry business models.

Myth 1: People today just want stuff for free and won't pay. Yet, here, they not only paid, but the average amount paid was a hell of a lot more than a typical album. If you're open, human and awesome and you give people a real reason to buy, they will.

Myth 2: People download illegally and don't pay because they think artists are all rich. While it's true that you'll sometimes hear someone defend file sharing with a claim about "rich" artists, those arguments are few and far between -- and are usually much more directed at a very, very small number of top pop stars, rather than as a defense for more widespread downloading. And, if anything, most of those complaints frequently are more directed at gatekeepers keeping a disproportionate share of any revenue. But here, where Amanda made well over a million dollars -- even if much of it will be spent in getting this album out and related projects/tour going -- her fans were absolutely thrilled at the amount she raised and have been celebrating each and every milestone along the way.

Last night, after the Kickstarter campaign closed, Amanda threw a giant blockparty in NYC (also streamed online), where tons of her fans showed up and they seemed to have quite a fun time:

And I grabbed a quick sampling of tweets about all of this and you see comment after comment after comment from fans celebrating the amount:


In many ways, that first tweet -- which says "she/we did it!" is quite revealing. This was never just about Amanda. This (and many, many other projects by creators who connect with their audience) are about involving the fans and making them a part of the experiment. People weren't upset about how much Amanda raised -- they were so completely invested in both her and the Kickstarter campaign that the success of the campaign was a success for the fans as well. It's exciting to be a part of something special, and that's part of what makes Kickstarter so compelling.

It's not about an "us vs. them" model -- which is how the legacy industry players too frequently frame things. It's about an inclusive model, where it's about more than money. It's about an emotional investment in the artist and the outcome. People don't begrudge the success, because it's not just Amanda's success. It's the success of everyone who supported her.

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  1. identicon
    weneedhelp_not signed in, 2 Jun 2012 @ 12:36am

    Re:

    "people paying way over what something is worth." To you. To others who have made a connection it is worth it. She's real. And here is the thing.... listen up... they love her.

    "Say the album is downloaded 1 million times." Say it is, and priced at a dollar. Even the tightest of wads will pull out a buck. And her hardcore fans still will support her at much more.

    "That means you would have 399 freeloaders for 1 payer." RIAA math taking place? Where did you pull that number from?

    "it seems to be people more happy about hitting a number" I love that phrase, it seems to be, and it appears to be. I tell my users that when I have no idea whats wrong. It appears you are doing the same. LOL

    A cd can be recorded and 1000 cd's printed for 10-20k. Last I was involved with a band we did it for 10k. We sold all the cd's in three months of touring. The cd's paid for the recording and printing costs. We did 3k a weekend throughout the tour(I use that term loosely, they were a medium size local band traveling through NJ, PA, and Delaware) All and all in three months we took in 46,000, paid out 10k for above mentioned recording/cd's, 2400 to the 2 roadies, and gas. Not bad for 2 nights a week and 24 shows. They would have been signed if not for not wanting to give up their publishing rights. For them, it was the deal breaker and the studio exec took his ball and went home. So you either sell your soul and all your rights to what you created, or fall off into obscurity... under the old system. Lastly if we would have toured the whole year, and the demand was there we all had other jobs to attend to, we could have made 156,000. The drummer's wife did merch so I never saw those numbers, but we sold t-shirts, buttons, bumper stickers, coffee mugs, and hats. Judging from the lines at the merch tables we did quite well.

    So I guess the point is she has 1.2 million reasons to tell you and your theory to fuck off. If spent wisely, she has more than enough capitol to record her next album, launch a tour, and its all paid for upfront. Ive said it before and ill say it again. The real money in music has and always be in the live performance.

    3:36AM rant done.

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