Who Will Create The Online Store For Successfully Crowdfunded Music?

TinyLightbulbs-HomeCrowdfunding platforms are at the core of a growing ecosystem of services to support crowdfunding at every stage. One of the more interesting and potentially lucrative developments are online stores created to sell successfully crowdfunded products. Such stores tend to feature gadgets and other physical items that sometimes include DVDs and could certainly include CDs and vinyl but, once one considers the possibilities, it's surprising that an online store for digital goods such as music has yet to be unveiled.

Once a crowdfunding campaign is complete and pledge rewards are distributed, there are often additional products left over that are intentionally created as inventory. Sometimes crowdfunding campaigns are used to create a product that then forms the basis of a business.

In addition to options such as selling things directly to consumers or finding already established retail outlets, there are now an increasing number of online stores specializing in crowdfunded products.

"Crowdfunded Products Sold Here"







Though some of these include online stores as part of a larger effort, most are focused on tech and gadgets, areas where crowdfunding has tapped into powerful demand for creative and/or useful products.

Some of the stores include other items and clearly they could sell any item, physical or digital, since most are not providing fulfillment services. From what I can tell via site FAQs and info sections, the dominant model is to provide a browsable store that aggregates lots of different physical products, handles sales and passes on information to the creator who then ships the product.

Crowdfunded Digital Products [Not] Sold Here

Surprisingly none of these feature digital offerings perhaps because the trend focuses on gadgets and related physical items such as iPhone cases and because digital items are easy to sell directly by creators.

In fact, online web store provider Shopify, whose services include file storage and direct digital sales, even offers a single-item template for successfully funded Kickstarter products called Kickstand.

Beyond that, options for digital sales are numerous and an increasing number of services charge little or no fees beyond the cut taken by PayPal and credit card companies.

Obstacles Are Many Yet The Potential Is Powerful

So the obstacles to an online store representing successfully funded digital albums are many. Yet a well-run outlet for such items that could bring together a wide range of musicians, especially the first to establish themselves, would have the opportunity for a lot of publicity and general goodwill.

If such an online store could weather the initial challenges, it could then become a community of its own for music sharing and discovery.

One ensuing challenge would be that copycats would explode given the focus on digital sales and investors' tendency to fund copycats in the startup space as proven concepts.

Another would be that, as crowdfunding platforms mature, adding retail elements would be a no-brainer, especially for digital products. In fact, that's what ClickStartMe seems to be attempting as a differentiator though they're off to a slow start.

Kickstarter Is Not A Store [At This Point In Time]

And even though "Kickstarter Is Not a Store," that doesn't mean they can't change their minds at a later date.

Nevertheless, a store for successfully crowdfunded digital music or a broader offering of creative digital goods certainly has interesting potential especially given that crowdfunding still has room to grow.

[Thumbnail image via TinyLightbulbs.]

Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at All World Dance: Videos and maintains Music Biz Blogs. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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  1. Perhaps once a product is done getting into a store that already exist is bigger concern. Since it’s already hard enough today to get said releases in existing stores creating a store that only carries crowdfunding goods could be counter what that many of the campaigns exisit to do which is get a CD or Vinyl done and get it to existing stores. #justathought

  2. I actually don’t know what most musicians do after they’ve delivered their pledge rewards.
    But from the artist’s standpoint, especially if it’s their first big project, using it to establish relationships with solid distributors and retailers does make the most sense.

  3. Pretty sure that most of them don’t contact a distributor let alone know what one is….since the intertube’s got rid of those pesky distributors and CD’s. right.
    Kidding aside. Since our we call stores everyday on behalf of our label’s artists these stores are very aware of the shrinking habitat of music stores since they’re it; So, while this sounds like an interesting option not sure how it won’t be seen as a competing interests of the bands time and stores turf both of which aren’t gong to help get distribution.

  4. Let’s take this one step further. If your putting up a crowd campain to take someone’s money and you haven’t even talked to a distributor about getting it into the market. Then you have failed every single marketing 101 class ever given. If you have something to sell you have to have a distribution strategy and that can’t be putting it up on the site for lost puppets/releases. END OF STORY.

  5. I take your point.
    The “as seen on TV” vibe seems to be a combo of the design and the focus on gadgets.
    The Netflix for Pandas topic is interesting. But things that seem gimmicky to me do really well on a regular basis.
    The question is whether or not it captures an audience and you could do a lot worse for ideas than creating an online outlet for products that have shown they have enough of an audience to fund their creation and initial direct distro.
    That’s what major labels and publishers are looking for in artists and writers. People that have found a base. They just do it with more money and bigger brands.
    But they still pump out cheese.

  6. Agreed. It really all boils down to size of the total addressable market and who can penetrate & own the lions share of that given audience sample.

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