Amanda Palmer's successful Kickstarter campaign (screenshot)

The Amanda Palmer Case

…or: one could stop being passionate about crowdfunding after this! Most of you must have followed the discussions about Amanda Palmer and her offer to fans or musicians to perform along with her, no fee included. I don’t want to heat up the discussion once more. It can all be read in different newspapers, blogs or online. However as a result of this discussion, some musicians might reconsider crowdfunding their music.

On one hand, it’s because they don’t want to have to publicly justify every step they make. Apart from musicians with a contract, such a justification doesn’t call for the media attention like the one in Amanda Palmer’s case. On the other hand, it’s often because of the lack of recourses for a strong and open communication. But in this case, Amanda Palmer showed that even difficult situations can be handled masterfully. So, what do we and especially crowdfunding musicians have to learn from the Amanda Palmer case? It’s mostly two things:
1. (Open) communication is everything Those, who finance their music with crowdfunding, are narrowly watched by fans, supporters and like in Amanda Palmer’s case, the media. It is expected that the project is arranged transparently and that the given promises are held. This is why it’s necessary to communicate clearly and openly about the project goals and actions taken, that are related to the project.
2. Build on your fans A loyal fan base is a decisive success factor and not only within the crowdfunding project. Also, when it comes to keeping the critics at distance, a loyal fan community can be an important component. This is why the fans have to be deeply involved and trust needs to be built through transparent acting. I can only hope, that the traditional media won’t describe crowdfunding with negative headlines only and rather emphasize the advantages that crowdfunding has: direct involvement of fans and a chance for musicians, off the retracted paths of the music industry.

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