Kickstarter and Indie Labels, A Natural Fit

image from cdn.crowdfundinsider.comKickstarter was the original music crowdfunding platform. Amanada Palmer raised more than a $1 million there, and countless music projects by independent artists were funded. Since then, PledgeMusic and others have gained traction in music, but Kickstarter has started reasserted itself an essential tool for musicians.


By Matt Voyno

Kickstarter is going deep on music. Having one of the most recognized brands on the internet they have revolutionized the creator market. They’ve helped change the way music and musicians create not only their art but also the way fans experience artists. 

So it’s great to see that recently Kickstarter has committed more resources and funds to expanding their music team. They’ve hired industry leader Molly Neuman to be the head of Music. She joins Kickstarter music veteran Hayley Rosenblum and the just announced tastemaker Brandon Stosuy from Pitchfork. That creates a deep level of talent at Kickstarter Music to help creators.

Also, in-case-you-missed-it they’ve recently acquired music subscription platform Drip. Drip was already working with fantastic artists and indie labels like Sub Pop and Stones Throw, but by coming into the Kickstarter fold, Drip will help answer the question of how artists can keep the conversation going after a project has been funded.

Some quick facts Kickstarter:

image from media.boingboing.net1.8 million people have backed a music project

• $172 million dollars have been pledged to musicians 

• Average pledge is around $70

• 80% success rates with at least 10 or more backers

• 90% success rates with at least 25 backers

Since Kickstarter launched over 23,000 successful music projects have been funded 

This year at the A2IM Indie Week conference in New York City, Kickstarter held a workshop to show indie labels how they can work together in more deep and meaningful ways. 

Basically it comes down to this. If you’re looking to do a creative project. To do something cool that has motivations beyond/in addition to the money. If you’re looking to build and engage an audience. To pursue something outside your wheelhouse, to test a new idea, product, concept. If you’re looking to create something special for your fans, then Kickstarter is for you. 

MEOW THE JEWELS happened on Kickstarter

Run the Jewels took a amazing idea, to remix their latest album with cat sounds (the official animal of the internet) and let their fans decide if they should. They needed to raise $40k. They raised over $65K with all of the proceeds going to the families of Eric Garner and Mike Brown. A fantastic expression of art where Kickstarter provided the platform to make it happen and used their network to spread it to an even larger audience. But obviously it’s not just established artists who can knock a project out of the park. New York City busking talent, music documentaries, new technologies, and more, have all found audiences with Kickstarter. 

It’s important to remember a few things about Kickstarter. First, yes, it is an all-or-nothing platform. If you don’t hit your goal, you get nothing. Although this can be a frightening proposition, that sense of urgency is key to get fans rallying around the project. It actually causes many projects to surpass their goal. The second thing to remember is that Kickstarter is so big that their own network pushes the dial. They have huge projects of all kinds that bring more people into the eco-system discovering new work and creating projects of their own. Finally it’s key to remember that Kickstarter is a Public Benefit Corporation that donates 5% of its annual profits, Kickstarter will never be sold to the Facebook’s and Apple’s of this world and will never go public. All of these things help make it an easy choice for creators.

Kickstarter is doubling down on supporting their music creators. It’s clear that they’re not trying to remove the labels, but become a resource and collaborator to build and strengthen the music community. The power of their network, their team, and strength of their company, helps connect an artist’s community and reduces the risks for labels. With all of these factors in play and a mission is to bring creative projects to life, it’s clear that labels looking to create something special should be working with Kickstarter.

Share on: