Want Someone Else To Fund Your Album?

2011 Jan 12, 2011

Are you working on a new album and looking for ways to pay for it? Whether it’s to pay for the gear to record it yourself, or to pay for someone to mix your tracks, or even to pay for printing and duplication you probably need some cash to make your next release a reality. What if I told you it was entirely possible to have someone else fund your project, at no expense to you? Would that encourage you?

Via Tony Flickr

Time For A Kickstarter

The music industry is changing. How we buy and sell music is evolving. And consequently how we fund and produce music must change as well. If you are like many musicians these days, you aren’t on a label. In fact you may be able to record, promote, book gigs, and build a following all on your own.  But not everything is free and at some point you have to invest some money into your music to get it produced or delivered professionally. Now thanks to a new website called www.Kickstarter.com you can have other people fund your project.

Kickstarter is a completely free service that allows you to build and host a simple web page where people can fund your project goal. You post a video and/or write a description of who you are and what you are raising money for (i.e. to go into the studio, to have our songs professionally mixed or mastered, to pay for printing and duplication) and then people can choose to “back” you by pledging a certain dollar amount to help you reach your goal (which you state) in the allotted time (which you pick). If you never reach the total goal amount, no one pays anything and their cards are not charged.

A Rewards System

What is interesting about Kickstarter is the reward system. You set up a system of tiers based on dollar amounts pledged and offer a reward for that pledge. For example, my buddy Keilan is offering people an advance copy of his album if you pledge $5 or more, an autographed physical copy of his album + his first EP + your name written in the credits if you pledge $20 or more, all the way up to a private concert in your home with a meal prepared by Keilan himself and your name listed as a producer in the credits of his album if you pledge $1,000 or more (which someone actually pledged!).

This rewards model is becoming more popular among bands all over the place, even with major label talent like Nine Inch Nails. It gets people excited about funding your project and gives them some value. And honestly you never know just how much someone is willing to give if you simply ask for it and a formalized way.

The Future Of “Paying For Music”

As the landscape of this industry is changing, one thing is certain: recorded music still has value. It just may not be the way we are used to in the traditional sense of paying for a physical or digital recording. Many bands and artists are choosing to give their music away for free in order to gain a following and fan loyalty. Then they make their money back by playing shows, selling merch, and selling CDs at shows.

People are still willing to pay for music, but really they want to pay to be a part of something big. They want to pay for an experience (i.e. an concert) or to help support the bands whose music they benefit from. Kickstarter’s success for bands is evident of this. People are willing to pledge at least what they would pay for a CD but many times much, much more than they would ever spend on music. With artists and fans being so directly connected these days, there’s an intimacy and loyalty that never existed before.

Do Your Next Project For Free

So why not you? Why not setup a free Kickstarter account, make a video, write up some info on your vision for your project and why not ask people to step up and support your goal. If you don’t believe in your music enough to do this, how can you expect other people to step up and support you? All you have to do is ask people and put yourself out there. You might just be surprised what you find!

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