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
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.