10 Myths of Music Crowdfunding

10-myths-crowdfundingCrowdfunding is still relatively new but already many myths are in place. Indiegogo recently created "Ten Myths of Crowdfunding," a free download addressing major misconceptions related to crowdfunding as a whole. However at least two aren't really myths as you'll see from my music crowdfunding-focused discussion of their ten items.

As I've mentioned before, Indiegogo regularly produces great crowdfunding resources relevant to music crowdfunding.

Their free download, "Ten Myths of Crowdfunding," is the most recent I've encountered and it's well worth downloading for their extended discussion.

And, remember, don't let criticisms of music crowdfunding stand in your way.

10 Myths of Music Crowdfunding

1 – "It’s online panhandling"

"FACT: Crowdfunding is shared enthusiasm for an idea and an opportunity for people to get involved."

2 – "I might fail"

Actually it's true. You might fail. But with estimated success rates of 34 to 44%, your odds of success are higher than that of VC-backed startups! Besides, there are benefits to music crowdfunding beyond the money.

3 – "I can’t raise money without a fancy video"

Levi James of Launch and Release has a three part series on why a "bad looking video" doesn't have to kill your project.

4 – "I doubt I’ll reach my goal"

Not all crowdfunding platforms require you to reach your goal to get paid. But solid budgeting to identify your actual needs combined with reasonable expectations regarding your base of support is critical regardless of platform.

5 – "I need a big social following to be successful"

Not true. Launch and Release has quite a bit on music crowdfunding without a fanbase.

6 – "I have no perks to offer"

This is likely less a problem for musicians since merch sales are a normal part of the game. However, going beyond such obvious rewards as t-shirts and getting creative is likely to encourage response. And be sure to include reward creation and fulfillment in your budgeting.

7 – "I don’t have time"

Actually this doesn't sound like a myth to me. One of the commonalities of crowdfunders' accounts is that successful music crowdfunding often takes more time than expected. Don't undermine yourself by going minimal and hoping for the best.

8 – "Crowdfunding is only about the money"

There are numerous benefits "beyond 'show me the money'" including connecting more deeply with your fans and marketing yourself to a broader audience.

9 – "I should wait until I have the perfect idea/product/etc"

"One huge benefit of crowdfunding is the ability to receive feedback from your audience and crowdsource solutions to your biggest challenges or open questions…There are musicians who are funding albums with only half the songs written – and bands who’ve already recorded the album and just want to print it to vinyl."

10 – "I’m not sure my idea will be accepted"

Not all platforms have a screening process that is as picky as that of Kickstarter.

Bonus Indiegogo Factoid:

"Campaigns run by a team typically raise 70% more money than campaigns run solo." (p. 7)


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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  1. Great post, Clyde! Thanks for the Launch and Release mentions too:)
    This is the first time I’ve read “Campaigns run by a team typically raise 70% more money than campaigns run solo.”
    Last week a client of ours (Jay Stolar) reached $50k which we’re all ecstatic about, especially him, and it was definitely a team effort that none of us could have pulled off on our own.
    It made us realize (even more than we already knew) how much fundraising potential most artists leave on the table by “winging it” without studying, researching or involving other people.
    Another HUGE myth is that music crowdfunding is the same as other types of crowdfunding (film, tech, design etc). Unlike the other categories, It’s not about “the thing”, it’s about your purpose (and a pile of other things).
    I’ve seen project after project get in trouble because they read The Crowdfunding Bible or they tried to follow Tim Ferriss’ blog post “Hacking Kickstarter: How to raise $100,000 in 10 Days” or other tech or design focused “Kickstarter help” type posts.
    WIth such limited info out there, it’s easy for musicians to find resources like that and jump in with both feet, but it’s the wrong direction and it’ll seriously mess up your chances of raising your full potential.
    Levi James

  2. Crowdfunding is the future of music! Check out this video on Amanda Palmer’s crowdfunding campaign from A Total Disruption. Really inspiring.

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