Archive for the ‘music business’ tag
Musician Amanda Palmer has managed to raise more than $1 million for a new album through a Kickstarter project, making it the seventh project to break the million-dollar mark in the crowdfunding platform’s history.
Musicians, artists, gadget engineers, and plenty of other creators can set up a project on Kickstarter with various levels of pledges. People who support the project can then fund it into existence by pledging various amounts of money for one of those levels, such as Palmer did with her forthcoming album.
In addition to being the seventh project to break a million, Palmer’s page is the highest funded Kickstarter music project ever. To give you some perspective, the second-highest-funded music project reached a little more than $200,000.
Her initial goal of $100,000 was easily reached within a day, and the fundraising finished with a total of $1,192,793. Pledges started at $1, which got you a digital download of the album along with exclusive content, and went all the way up to $10,000. A total of 24,883 people backed the project, with only two people signing up for a $10,000 pledge, which would have Palmer fly out to your home for dinner and paint a portrait of you.
But just because she raised more than $1 million, it doesn’t mean she’s clearing that amount. Quite the contrary, actually.
Before even signing up for the Kickstarter project, Palmer said she had already spent $250,000 on recording the new album. “Terrifying? damn straight,” she writes of the experience in a recent blog post.
Palmer also broke down the line-by-line cost of her project’s offers in (very) rough estimates:
- $150,000 for business management expenses
- $105,000 for 7,000+ high-end CD-books & thank you cards
- $100,000 for 4 to 5 music videos
- $80,000 for 2,000+ art books
- $75,000-$100,000 for Kickstarter and Amazon payment fees
- $30,000 for 1,500+ vinyls & cards
- $30,000 for 100 copies of the Neil Gaiman/Kyle Cassidy photo book
- $30,000 for 300 Arts & Crafts/7-inch packages and vinyls.
- $25,000 for artwork to be sold at the art shows
- $15,000-$20,000 for designers to do various things
- $15,000 for 100 painted turntables
- $10,000 for touring expenses for six cities
- $10,000 for expenses related to 35 house parties
After all these costs (most of which were estimated by Palmer a week before the project’s funding deadline ended), it cuts the Kickstarter project’s total funding considerably — leaving her with $192,793.
“There’s expenses I’m not even TALKING about here: the cost of our new website designers, my full-time staff (I have two: Superkate and Sean), the tour equipment, band costumes, gear cases, stage backdrops, and gazillion other incidentals,” she explains. “The mind boggles.”
The point of her cost breakdown is that, despite shunning the traditional music industry model, the music business is still an actual business with real operating expenses. And while Palmer might end up making nothing on the Kickstarter project, which isn’t her only source of income for the music it helped produce, that doesn’t bother her.
“If I break even on this project, I still see this as a massive win,” she said. “First of all, this Kickstarter and its success is going to open the door for a lot of other artists, especially major-label refugees like me. Paying now for value later is what historically would’ve been a label’s primary purpose. Now YOU are able to bankroll and finance and KEEP CONTROL WITH THE ARTISTS.”
So, what’s next for Palmer? The musician/artist/crowdfunding visionary said she’d run naked through the streets, yelling hallelujah, if the project reached more than a $1 million by May 31. Beyond that, she’s got plenty to keep her busy.
We’ve reached out to her for further comment, and will happily update this post with a response when and if we hear back.
Photo via Amanda Palmer
Here’s one of those posts that seem to confuse people who don’t understand how someone can embrace digital content as I do doesn’t also embrace the notion that the print magazine format is endangered.
Here’s a hint to understanding this: I think that a magazine company (or any media company, print or digital) that is built entirely on the media-business model (advertising and subscriptions) is endangered.
However, I think magazines (and other media) that support another business model are not endangered.
Today, a post on Pandodaily has the subject line, “The Future of Magazines Should Look a Lot Like Spotify.”
The 12 readers of this blog know I think the word “magazines” should refer to the paper kind of magazine, like the word “book” is used to differentiate between the p-book and the e-book. So, I’m going to start using the term emagazine to refer to something that is digital and magazine to refer to the print-format.
While I don’t disagree with the point of view of the writer, it follows in a long tradition of such suggestions that go something like this: The way to save something is to kill it.
I feel certain the writer would explain that he means “saving” means something other “saving the print version of a magazine,” but when I parse the sentence, one has to read his mind to understand what he means.
No matter the intention or meaning, the essay advocates something different than the headline: The print magazine format can be killed and the articles inside the magazine can be distributed in another way — like Spotify does (which, I’m not quite sure has saved the music business yet, but whatever). That will save something, but it won’t be magazines that are saved. And I’m fine with that — magazines that can’t survive as print magazines should die.
I’m not going to repeat the countless posts on this blog that explain the magazine business model vs. magazines that support another business model. Nor am I going to point back at articles that explain the difference in magazines for a business to business audience vs. those in the consumer marketplace. Nor am I going to point to the posts that, in many different ways, explain why this is a great era for writers and other creatives because there are some many opportunities (like Spotify) to distributed great writing, music or video. (In other words, why I agree with one-half of what the writer advocates.)
What I’ll do, however, is point to a Wikipedia article about the 1995 book called Being Digital. It is a re-packaged collection of individual essays written by Nicholas Negroponte that first appeared in the magazine and website (yes, back in 1995) Wired.com.
In the book, Negroponte (among other things) describes something he started talking about in 1970s called the Daily Me.
What was this 1970s concept called the Daily Me?
It’s sort of like a Spotify for articles found in newspapers and magazines … and blog posts.
The definition of a revolution: it destroys the perfect and enables the impossible.
The music business was perfect. Radio, record chains, Rolling Stone magazine, the senior prom, limited access to recording studios, the replaceable nature of the LP, the baby boomers… it all added up to a business that seemed perfect, one that could run for ever and ever.
The digital revolution destroyed this perfect business while enabling the seemingly impossible: easy access to the market by new musicians, a cosmic jukebox of just about every song ever recorded, music as a social connector…
If you are love with the perfect, prepare to see it swept away. If you are able to dream of the impossible, it just might happen.
I’ve been waiting for this one. Bram Cohen is the Chief Scientist and co-founder of the P2P file sharing service BitTorrent. And he may also be one of the guys most responsible for the decline in the music industry. So I asked Bram, when we sat down together earlier this week at SFMusicTech, whether he did indeed have any responsibility for killing the music business.
His denial was categorical. Not only did Bram deny any role in shrinking the sale of recorded music, but he actually disputed that the music industry is in decline, claiming “data” showed it to be in a quite healthy state. And Bram had a clear message for music executives who might dispute his argument. “Embrace the future,” he told them, and accept that the product is the band rather than the recording.
This is the second in a series of interviews from SFMusicTech. Yesterday, I posted my conversation with Grateful Dead guitarist and singer Bob Weir, who explained to me why MP3 music is an assault on all our ears.