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Author Topic: Changes at Kickstarter...  (Read 4015 times)

wraith808

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Changes at Kickstarter...
« on: September 24, 2012, 10:13:38 AM »
Kickstarter is not a store, a recent blog post on the crowd sourcing site is titled.  And it details changes to drive that point home.

Quote
Creators must talk about “Risks and Challenges”

Today we added a new section to the project page called "Risks and Challenges." All project creators are now required to answer the following question when creating their project:

“What are the risks and challenges this project faces, and what qualifies you to overcome them?”

We added the "Risks and Challenges" section to reinforce that creators' projects are in development. Before backing a project, people can judge both the creator's ability to complete their project as promised and whether they feel the creator is being open and honest about the risks and challenges they face.

The new section will appear below the project description of projects that launch starting today.

Even more stringent changes are coming to hardware and hard product design.

Quote
New Hardware and Product Design Project Guidelines

The development of new products can be especially complex for creators and seductive to backers. Today we’re adding additional guidelines for Hardware and Product Design projects.

They are:

Product simulations are prohibited. Projects cannot simulate events to demonstrate what a product might do in the future. Products can only be shown performing actions that they’re able to perform in their current state of development.
Product renderings are prohibited. Product images must be photos of the prototype as it currently exists.

They end with this statement: "We hope these updates reinforce that Kickstarter isn't a traditional retail experience and underline the uniqueness of Kickstarter."

I think this will definitely help keep the perceived 'balloon' from bursting.  Some people think that Kickstarter is along the lines of the real-estate bubble or any of the other financial scandals to come down the pipe.  I think they're overreacting- but isn't that was caused the other crises?  People overreacting to the promises offered by people who might or might not have known that they can deliver.  So perhaps something needed to be done to change perceptions and make people look at funding in the way it really is - a risk to help a project along, and get benefits for doing so if it succeeds.

Personally, I don't contribute if something doesn't meet a few criteria:
1. Has a solid vision.
2. Has a near delivery date (how far depends on my trust in the principals).
3. I don't mind losing the amount contributed.

All of these work together to solidify my decision to contribute.  But I don't think a lot of people look at things this way- this is especially seen as dates slip.  They see the date and not the Estimated in front of it.

There was a pretty good blog post by a game developer on his love/hate relationship with Kickstarter.  A pretty good read- especially considering that many (most) of the funded projects are games of one sort or another.

app103

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Re: Changes at Kickstarter...
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2012, 10:59:38 AM »
I wonder what the indie musicians using Kickstarter will put in as the risks for the albums they are trying to pre-sell and looking for financing to get the album released.

Kickstarter was perfect for indie artists. As long as they had a good enough following, they could pre-sell their albums, before even going into the studio to record them. If there wasn't enough interest to bankroll the project, then they could wait till there is.

Much less risk to the artist who might otherwise have to put up his own cash, then discover he doesn't have a large enough fan base interested in buying the resulting album to recover his costs. Also it could bring a much wanted album to market sooner, with fans not having to wait till a starving artist could afford to bankroll it himself, and much better than signing a contract with a label in order to get them to put up the money to finance the project in exchange for royalties...and then forced to provide the label with a set number of additional albums within the next 5 years, having to compromise your artistic integrity to meet label ideas of what would sell better, being forced to give up your day job and leave your family for extended periods of time because the label wants you to go on tour, etc., etc., etc.

Maybe someone should create another Kickstarter-like site, just for musicians.  :D

Deozaan

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Re: Changes at Kickstarter...
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2012, 11:07:10 AM »
I wonder what the indie musicians using Kickstarter will put in as the risks for the albums they are trying to pre-sell and looking for financing to get the album released.

If the artist knows how much it will cost to produce and distribute the album, then maybe they can simply say that there is virtually no risk if the goal is met.


40hz

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Re: Changes at Kickstarter...
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2012, 11:58:48 AM »
There's a lot of truth to the saying : Don't try to run before you can walk.

Seriously, musicians shouldn't be soliciting funds for an album until the album is completed through at least the demo recording phase. Because truth is, most music projects don't even make it that far despite the availability of inexpensive recording tools that let anybody with a PC do a very good self produced "album" for very little investment. So my feeling is if you aren't to the point of where you already have something like a PreSonus AudioBox or a Focusrite Scarlett 212 starter home recording kit and some songs already recorded, you're not ready to do a kickstarter pitch.

You'd be far better off first getting some of your music up on Bandcamp.com to gauge how well it goes over (ideally building some buzz in the process) rather than seeking investors too early.

Do you have a full demo album? Do you have the entire band together? Are you rehearsed enough play out live? If it goes over and you get signed - or get asked to tour - could you? And will everybody in the band actually be willing to go? Or will there be last minute defections which leave you scrambling to replace and rehearse new musicians. This happens all the time BTW. Especially since quitting a steady day job, or being separated from "significant others" (i.e. lover, spouse, children) for a few months, isn't a decision to be undertaken lightly.  

However, if all that is in place, then you just might be ready, as a musician, for kickstarter.

One problem with musicians and kickstarter was the inspiring $1+ million dollar success Amanda Palmer had with her kickstarter solicitation. All the musician's forums were buzzing about it for months. Unfortunately, what a lot of would-bes didn't realize is that Amanda Palmer already has a loyal following and had garnered a huge amount of "street cred" due to her strenuous efforts to get out of her "record label" contract in order to go back to being an independent - and then making it work.

The other unusual thing (which too many people missed) about Palmer's project was that the full album had already been mostly finished except for some final mastering. She was soliciting funding to get it packaged, do the related art book and fund the show tour. And this was all clearly stated on her project page.

That's a huge amount of risk reversal to offer a potential supporter. But that's exactly what you can do - if you're Amanda Palmer.

ap.png

And the response to her kickstarter request bears that out. 8)
« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 01:24:39 PM by 40hz »

wraith808

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Re: Changes at Kickstarter...
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2012, 12:00:03 PM »
I wonder what the indie musicians using Kickstarter will put in as the risks for the albums they are trying to pre-sell and looking for financing to get the album released.

If the artist knows how much it will cost to produce and distribute the album, then maybe they can simply say that there is virtually no risk if the goal is met.

Totally agree.  If the only risk is lack of backing, then the risk is encompassed in reaching the goal.  There doesn't have to be any extra risk.  But this only goes towards disclosure when there is IMO.

40hz

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Re: Changes at Kickstarter...
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2012, 01:17:59 PM »
I would think that most unknown musicians would do well to pledge to provide at least a 'demo quality' album via a free MP3 download to their kickstarter backers regardless of whether or not the funding goal is met.

Risk reversal goes a long way towards encouraging some backing. And that might also help from being seen as using Kickstarter as a CD store. (Even with that however, I'm sure many will eventually try a "project" launch just to get some free exposure and cachet - so it's back to square one for Kickstarter.)

I suspect there will eventually be a whole pile of restrictions placed on music projects if the musicians don't get their act together and stop trying to game Kickstarter's very open project registration policy.


wraith808

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Re: Changes at Kickstarter...
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2012, 01:51:18 PM »
Very good point 40.  And with the caveat of demo quality, it's not like it's much out of their pocket to do so.

40hz

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Re: Changes at Kickstarter...
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2012, 02:23:26 PM »
^Exactly. And purely from a recording sound quality perspective, most of today's "demo sound" is better than 99% of what was recorded prior to 1983/84.

Nowadays it's more likely it's the music that's lacking rather than the recording. ;) ;D

app103

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Re: Changes at Kickstarter...
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2012, 06:25:57 PM »
I was referring to projects like this one: http://www.kickstart...et-recording-project

This is an established musician with a good fan base that has had 10+ albums already, most on major labels, and he doesn't want to go back to recording for a big name label. This guy is a pro, not an amateur.

I was not referring to an unknown garage band that wants to have instant riches and has no fans.

40hz

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Re: Changes at Kickstarter...
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2012, 07:05:17 PM »
I was referring to projects like this one: http://www.kickstart...et-recording-project

This is an established musician with a good fan base that has had 10+ albums already, most on major labels, and he doesn't want to go back to recording for a big name label. This guy is a pro, not an amateur.

I was not referring to an unknown garage band that wants to have instant riches and has no fans.

Hey April!

Didn't think you were. I was just talking about musicians and kickstarter in general. I let myself get overly vocal because there are so many small bands talking about kickstarter lately who obviously have little understanding of what it's about or how it works.

None of that was directed at you or the Silverman/Calder Quartet. Sorry if it came across that way. :(

BTW, I'm pleased to see they hit their target. Found them and their project on YouTube and it sounds quite good.



I've myself have been addicted to electric violin since I first heard the Paul Winter Consort use one back when dinosaurs (and me!) first roamed the earth. Definitely gonna buy Tracy's Between the Kiss and the Chaos when it comes out.
 :Thmbsup:

wraith808

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Re: Changes at Kickstarter...
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2012, 08:28:16 PM »
I was referring to projects like this one: http://www.kickstart...et-recording-project

This is an established musician with a good fan base that has had 10+ albums already, most on major labels, and he doesn't want to go back to recording for a big name label. This guy is a pro, not an amateur.

I was not referring to an unknown garage band that wants to have instant riches and has no fans.

That's what I also assumed.  I think that the concept, however, applies to professional as well as amateur artists that use the medium.

Very nice group, BTW.

app103

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Re: Changes at Kickstarter...
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2012, 05:36:34 AM »
A podcast interview and discussion from WQXR in NY, in which Tracy Silverman explains why he used Kickstarter to fund this project, and also about classical musicians using crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Artspire to fund projects, instead of going after grants: http://www.wqxr.org/...ical-musicians-cash/

40hz

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Re: Changes at Kickstarter...
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2012, 08:59:41 AM »
sites like Kickstarter and Artspire to fund projects

Thanks for posting that. I didn't know about Artspire.

Hmm...too bad they're still hung up on that whole PBS/non-profit/educational mindset.

Why is there the assumption on the part of so many "artsy" organizations that anything that is "worthwhile" or "cultural" can't  (by definition) ever be commercially viable?

Bad meme that is. Always struck me as a closet form of snobbery. (But Pippa...if the dirty unwashed masses like it, then it can't possibly be any good. Culture is only meant for those with sufficient education and breeding to appreciate it)
 :-\


app103

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Re: Changes at Kickstarter...
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2012, 06:35:23 PM »
Discovered this list of crowd funding sites today. There are 2 on the list specifically for musicians: PledgeMusic and Sellaband

http://www.hongkiat..../crowdfunding-sites/

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Changes at Kickstarter...
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2012, 09:21:27 PM »
Tip about Sellaband: They look okay, but I have them parked in that "corporate email catcher" address because they do send out a lot of promo mails.