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. icon
    Karl (profile), 2 Jun 2012 @ 1:14am

    Re:

    For every person paying $50, how many will freeload?

    Or, put another way: for all those that freeload, how many would pay $50?

    Well, more than non-"freeloaders," that's for sure. Every independent study has shown that people who pirate music legally purchase more music than people who do not.

    If anything, this is a perfect example of a smaller group of people financing the fun of a larger group.

    Yeah, just like those who buy albums are "financing the fun" of those who just listen to the radio.

    "People download illegally and don't pay because they don't care if the artists are rich or not".

    Well, the RIAA certainly doesn't believe people think this way. Presenting filesharing as hurting "average musicians" is a consistent talking point from the traditional music labels. It's like Joe the Plumber for music. And just like Joe the Plumber, it's pure propaganda. The anti-filesharing crowd cares about your average musician exactly as much as Republican politicians care about your average plumber.

    They see the pictures of the shows, the big stage set, the lights, the costumes...

    You mean, the rock/rap star myth that the major labels have deliberately built up to glamorize pop music? The myth that keeps musicians looking for that "one big break," that presents a label deal as the epitome of musical success, with all the groupies, blow, and trashed motel rooms that come with it? The brass ring that gets people to pay money to ride the merry-go-round?

    Yeah, so maybe that backfired on them. Boo fucking hoo.

    Of course, the fans that actually care about the artist don't begrudge them for making money. They're more than willing to support the artist however they can, whether they are filesharers or not.

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