UPDATED: Amanda Palmer Blows Past $1 Million On Kickstarter

image from d3j5vwomefv46c.cloudfront.netUPDATED: "WE. FUCKING. DID IT. $1,000,000 OF PURE FUTURE ARTMUSIC ASSKICKING," tweeted Amanda Palmer on Tuesday afternoon along with a half naked photo with "One Fuckng Million" scrawled across her chest.  She'd asked asked fans for $100,000 on Kickstarterm and now she's raised 10X that. In fact, overnight the singer/songwriter added just shy of $50,000 more; bringing the Wednesday morning tally to $1,049,084 from 21,802 backers, with 40 hours left to collect more.

The Music Business Is No Longer 'One Size Fits All'

Palmer has shattered the previous record for music on Kickstarter of $207,980 by Five Iron Frenzy. But are we witnessing history in the making?  Is this the future of the music business? Clearly most bands don't have the fan support to raise $ million or even $10,000. "You have to have fans before you can ask them to help you," reminds Palmer.

But there are lessons that every band can learn from Palmer's $1 million campaign.  She spent years developing and getting to know her fanbase. Palmer also acquired the the skills needed to motivate them on multiple levels with this single campaign. Beyond just appealing for help, Palmer's Kickstarter is about a new record release, an art book, a tour that includes private shows for small groups of supporters and more.

The new music industry is no longer one size fits all.  But today, Amanda Palmer proved there is still room for XXXL size success stories.

There's still time to pledge here.

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  1. Your comment is the most interesting thing about this article and tells you everything you need to know.
    Boy I can’t wait (sarcasm) for the wave of……..people saying: “see music should be free and that is how it is done these days. Try it!! It’s all good!”. Who will say that? All people justifying their freebie habit; especially members of the pirate party….

  2. So what if Neil has lots of $ this is still inspiring to all artists/musicians! My fave band campaigned an album I guarantee you never heard of them.. The DIY ethic is defo about music these days!! She just proved it in a BIG way that is all!

  3. I think the point trying to be made is that Gaiman is a wealthy artist who not only has his own (very large) fan base, but connections and friends who also have a lot of money to burn. No one outside of a small group of people (Palmer included) really know where that funding came from. I (like many others) are pretty there hasn’t been another musician who has the connections that Palmer has to reach their goals on Kickstarter. It’s about keeping people informed with all the facts, instead of just some of the facts, so that they can be properly informed and make the best decisions for themselves as possible. A lot of people could get the wrong idea and think that Kickstarter is the answer to all their problems, while in actuality many projects do not reach their intended goals.
    Free album download at http://www.facebook.com/chancius

  4. So a cult celebrity with half a million followers on Twitter and her cult celebrity husband with 2 million followers on Twitter run twitter commercials about this- and her – shamelessly to both their fan-bases for a month and get twenty thousand people to give her a million dollars. AND she gets to boast just as shamelessly that none of it goes to record companies like the ones that helped her become a cult celebrity.
    Why am I not impressed by either the behavior OR the ‘Accomplishment’ (when seen from that particular point of view)?

  5. This IS all about a lot of great things:
    1. Amanda is talented and creative.
    2. She protects her uniqueness.
    3. She understands the value of her fans
    4. She knows how to nurture the relationship with her fans
    5. She respects the power of direct marketing
    There are many artists that have had similar opportunities as Amanda Fucking Palmer, similar deals and exposure, similar followings etc… BUT, Amanda has used those experiences to capture fans, hone her marketing skills and to build a forward thinking team. She could be bitching about what the music business did to her but instead she’s talking about what she did to it by creating her own business.
    The old music industry is done and a new model is slowly emerging. In order for the the model to start taking shape, both artists and fans have to be willing to participate. This is a shining example of both the artist and fan participating new roles, in a new model, to the tune of one million dollars. This is a great sign that the business is ready for redefinition. Can’t wait to see what comes next.

  6. Because you’re a pathetic Internet troll?
    I wish you could hear the comical, snide voice I use to read these posts aloud. It really puts your comments in the proper context.
    Look, I never heard of Palmer before reading about her on a blog like this one, and didn’t know and still don’t care about her connection to Gaiman. I simply read her pitch, saw what she was offering, and thought it was pretty good. Clicked on her video, thought it was cute and the music was interesting. The whole package just works. Clicked on the pledge button, pledged what I can afford, and am looking forward to getting what I feel is worth that pledge, and looking forward to seeing the whole endeavor be a success. Simple as that.
    All of you who are pointing out who her husband is, trying to make it sound like she doesn’t deserve the money for her project, just what are you trying to accomplish? You want people to be unimpressed? You want people to not choose to spend their money on her project, and back traditional marketing and labels instead? You want people to think they’re being manipulated? You want people to believe that most of the money comes from Neil Gaiman’s rich friends? You think she should be shunned for making a show of how DIY she is? Should people rescind their pledges? Just what is so “shameless” about “running Twitter commercials” to her and husband’s fan bases? Who cares?
    Seriously, none of your arguments is the least bit persuasive. You seem to be in utter denial of the fact that a whole lot of people just like what she’s doing and like what she’s offering. If her art, music, offerings, personality, or marketing sucked, people would not be backing her project! Her cult celebrity, her past work with record labels, and her association with Gaiman wouldn’t have made up for any of that. And I think you are seriously overrating the degree to which those things have contributed to her Kickstarter success.
    I mean, who the backers are, and how that breaks down into funding levels, is right there on her Kickstarter page! It’s not a secret, it’s right there! If there were 5 people who gave $200K each and 21,000 who gave $1, you might have a point, but clearly that’s not the breakdown at all. So, you fail. But you’re free to contact those people and see if your conspiracy theory is true, see if it’s all just rich devotees of Neil Gaiman. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
    Oh, and congratulations for upholding the stereotype of the jealous, outsmarted businessman, muttering that people couldn’t possibly have willingly chosen to spend their money elsewhere…

  7. 1. It’s Amanda Palmer, not representative of any typical indie artist.
    2. FUCK YOU editor for showing tits on the front page and to anybody that tweeted links to the story with no warning.

  8. I don’t agree that this is any success yet nor do I really care at all. What comes next dictates what success is for this whole thing. Does she just disappear and make an album? Albums don’t take a million dollars to make. Not even close. Like all movies this doesn’t end when you walk out the theater or flip off the TV. So what’s next? We’ll see. I don’t really like her or what she does but I don’t need to. We’ll see what happens next. To the girl that got offended about the picture… then don’t look at it you prude. And super classy retort – “FU”? Get a life.

  9. you don’t have to like Amanda Palmer, and I wont insult you or call you a troll for saying you’re not a fan. We all have opinions.
    But as a fan I have a couple of things I can reply to:
    Firstly, the album is already recorded and mixed, she is finalizing the art work now.
    “Albums don’t take a million dollars to make. Not even close” The album itself, no, wont take a million dollars, but when you take out the record company paying for staff and management and everything else associated, it gets closer.
    From Amanda’s blog:
    “to put a number on all of that behind-the-scenes stuff which just got us to DAY ONE of kickstarter: $250,000.”
    In fact: read Amanda’s blog about it:
    As for what happens next? I guess she starts rolling out the rewards for all the pledges, albums, shows, private concerts, books etc.
    Anyone that follows Amanda Palmer knows she does everything publicly, there is no fear that she will disappear into obscurity when this kickstarter ends and no one will hear from her again. This is one of THE BIGGEST REASONS her fans have had enough faith to put in one million dollars for this campaign

  10. I’d like to know a couple of things:
    1) What was the AVERAGE pledge amount per fan?
    2) Is Amanda donating a portion of this campaign to a charity?
    3) Who is actually handling the fulfillment of the orders (ie: who is actually literally stuffing envelopes and licking stamps?)
    4) Who is going to handle the barrage of E-mails from pledgers saying “hey I never got that CD in the mail, can you send another one?”

  11. Omillais – your response is fantastic. Most of the negativity on here doesn’t merit a reply. Many people are on kickstarter with their films or music proposals. Lots have influential friends, rich parents, blah blah, etc. None of those things alone would be enough to generate the traction of Amanda’s campaign. If it was all about money and influence only the biggest companies would be generating the money. They aren’t. Millions of dollars are spent every day to influence consumer spending – from a $4 box of cereal to cars that cost thousands. Much of this isn’t heard until MANY THOUSANDS OF IMPRESSIONS are made! Amanda not only demonstrated that she could meet an ambitious goal, she’s proof there are no limits on the results. You can buy “followers” or “likes” but the quality of Amanda’s interaction, of her art, and her offers ultimately resonated. Otherwise, people wouldn’t have opened their wallets

  12. Amanda has answered many of your questions on Kickstarter and her blog.
    I’m amazed at the negativity. She’s done something special and it should be applauded and learned from. Amanda understood the potential of social media to connect with fans, she used it, she worked hard she created things (music, art, live performances) that resonate with her fans. Her fans and supporters, including her husband, amplified that message. And IT WORKED. If that’s not a new music industry success story, what is?

  13. Bruce, as someone who is a professional singer (a session singer for over 20 years, and band backup before that), there are alot of things that make this story not so revolutionary. I don’t know many bands or singers able to procure a quarter of a million dollars to START with. That’s what THEY use Kickstarter for. That’s what Kickstarter USED to be for. That’s what record companies are STILL for, but I’ve heard all the arguments that record companies are dying and don’t disagree that the industry needs to adapt or fracture itself. Thing is though I uually hear the industry is dying from someone who has either never been signed, isn’t good enough to BE signed and lately by people like this Revolutionary who seems to have been carried for quite a large portion of her life, her work life and her career. This is not a new music success story, this is a new music anomaly. There are some cool things to this, but ignoring the fact that this cry of revolution is coming from someone who kind of appears to have been born on third base ad thinks she hit a triple is naive. (And yes, anyone can see she works hard at reaching people, fans, hugging, blogging. Most musicians have to pay some rent, student loans, etc. Is all I’m saying. A quarter of a million dollars in the hole, most people are dead.)

  14. ahhhh… she never said she HAD 250,000 to start with?
    In fact the blog states explicitly that the money was mostly sourced through loans which she will be paying back once the kickstarter is funded.
    It’s easy to say this is not revolutionary and Amanda was with a label for sometime so that is how she got to this position. But the very reason she is not on a label now is because they did not market and support her work the way they should have. They only really marketed 2 of the 4 releases she made on roadrunner and told her to make a more “commercial” album or they wouldn’t market it. She also mentioned earlier today that when they had said if she wanted to make another album they would give her $250,000. She has quadrupled that!
    This “new” (not all that new) model will not work for everyone, and Amanda herself stresses, this was not an overnight success. she has worked long and hard to not only build a fan base, but to build TRUST with them which has led them to trust her enough to back her kickstarter to the tune of over a million dollars!
    If she was the lazy, cut and run type no one would have lent her the $250,000 to begin with and no one would have trusted her enough to back her kickstarter as much as people have.

  15. 1) Visit the kickstarter page: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/amandapalmer/amanda-palmer-the-new-record-art-book-and-tour
    It breaks down all the packages available and how many of each has been purchased so you can see how many people donated to each tier.
    about 18,000 of the nearly 22,000 backers pledged $25 or less. But there are some bigger bundles that people are pooling money together for to get.
    2) No. A percentage of the total will go to Kickstarter and another amount to Amazon who handle the payments. The rest will be going to make all the stuff, pay off the loans she took out to record the album earlier this year etc. In fact, if you haven’t, read this, Amanda has been (for this campaign and always in her career before now) very transparent about her process: http://blog.amandapalmer.net/post/23551030051/where-all-this-kickstarter-money-is-going-by-amanda
    3)&4) A bit more complicated to answer but these two go hand in hand: As someone who has followed her career for some time i know for a fact she has a relatively small, but very dedicated, team of people that work for her (who she will be using some of the kickstarter money to pay) that have always done all of this stuff. Eric is her tour manager, I have met him in person when she toured Australia, who takes care of all the tour stuff (so he has been coordinating all the rock/art show stuff and the 35 house parties being organized for all over the world) And she has 2 full time staffers in the US, superkate and sean, both of whom are reachable on email and twitter at all times. I have ordered merch and albums and pre-ordered stuff from team Amanda before, very rarely do things go wrong, and in one instance when there was a printing issue with a book that got delayed by a fair while, everyone was kept in the loop at all times and I was never left wondering.
    It’s the fact that Amanda has tested this method on smaller scales before and made sure IT WORKS before she did this HUGE project that has given her more loyal fans (like me) the confidence to know that I can pledge a decent amount and know I will get my money’s worth! And has led nearly 22,000 people to trust her enough to pledge anything!

  16. Don’t obfuscate – the fact that she said she’s a quarter million in the hole already wasn’t my point. My point is she’s living a life where she can BE a quarter million in the hole and still not have to spend eight hours a day pulling an actual salary.
    Which brings me to Obfuscation #2 – I didn’t say she was lazy EVER. She does however seem to have a lifestyle where her JOB is promoting herself, tending her fans as much as her fans tend her, flogging her kickstarter, etc. That’s a HUGE job, and she does it well. But not every indie musician – hell, NOBODY I know – has the kind of financial cushion she seems to have to simply wake up and be Amanda Palmer for a living.

  17. Uh “Leeds United”, “Straight”, “The Point of It All”, “Runs in the Family”, “Ampersand”.
    Your point? @Jus Sayin lol

  18. Somebody was surfing on company time and is worried about getting fired? She should be. No matter what came up on her monitor.

  19. She can do that now though, she couldn’t 10-12 years ago when she was starting out, when she was touring non stop, and busking, and working a job.
    No one is saying an indie musician who has only been around for a year or 2 (or even 3) can have the time and the fan base to do what she now does.
    But the platform is there, and her direct marketing techniques, which she has used from day one (blogging, staying back after every single show and meeting every single person that wants to meet her, keeping an open line of communication between herself and her fans) are what have got her to this point. No musician can get here in a year, but any musician with the right attitude might be able to get to this point in 10 years. It’s about the dedication.
    You state she was “born on third base” and then say you didn’t suggest she was “lazy”, she wasn’t born there, she worked for a hell of a long time to get there. I would agree however that the KickStarter was born on third base, and making it to a million is the home run.
    My main annoyance with a lot of comments i’ve been reading is the suggestion that (as you phrased it) this is some kind of “anomaly” and can not be repeated because this doesn’t happen to “normal” people. Like is most jobs, it took a lot of years, and a lot of really hard work, (and in Amanda’s case a lot of hugs) to get to a point where she can do something to this scale.

  20. I can do better, I can download 5 songs, for free, from her official website…

  21. A very clear story about reaching a milestone in internet marketing of music and art. How is is it that some people are arguing with this? Clearly not business readers.

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