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), 3 Jun 2012 @ 2:31am

    Re: Misleading

    Had they not already had industry driven success, I highly doubt they'd be doing so well with these projects.

    A common criticism. And, in Amanda's case at least, totally wrong. One more time:
    And because of that decision [to sign with Roadrunner], the band did receive pockets of radio success in markets like St. Louis and Arizona. The attendance at those shows spiked in 2006 when a few Dolls songs were receiving airplay. Awesome, right? Well, now it's 2009 and we've returned to some of those markets. Many of those radio fans don't turn up anymore. Yet, the hardcores or "1000 true fans" are still there, just like they have been since they organically founded The Dresden Dolls back in the day. They still line up outside for hours, know every word of every song (whether or not it has been released), and wait around for Amanda's autograph. They don't need a top down marketing plan to tell them what to like. And who are the new hardcore Dolls/ Amanda fans? They are the younger siblings and friends of the original fans, who continue to spread the gospel about an artist who's work they love so much they can't not talk about.

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