Amanda Palmer

A breakdown of the pledges on Amanda Palmer’s Kickstarter and why social media is not all that

The crowd-funding for Amanda Palmer’s new album Theatre Of Evil raised $1.1 million (this Economist article has a good summary of the project and her background: busking, The Dresden Dolls, WMG and after.)

It’s interesting to see how 25,000 people pledged, how their pledges break down and how much individuals pledged.

Just over half the money was raised by 24,000 people for the download, CD, vinyl and book. 11,000 people paid $1 (4,744) or $5 (6,356) for a download of the album. 13,000 paid between $25 and $125 for the CD, vinyl and book in various combinations.

The other half of the money—over half a million dollars—was raised from just 1,000 pledges between $250 and $10,000 for art shows, gigs, artwork, custom painted turntables, limited editions and house concerts (with various combinations of the download, CD, vinyl and book).

The average pledge was $45. This agrees closely with Ian Rogers’ stats from Topspin and his analysis of other web music projects such as Trent Reznor’s Nine Inch Nails album.

(The social media stats are interesting. Amanda Palmer has 144,284 friends on Facebook, 100,000 of them didn’t have $1 for the download. The Kickstarter page got 40154 likes on Facebook which means at least 15,000 Facebookers  didn’t like it enough to buy the download. It’s good to know what the value of a Facebook like really is.

Even more surprisingly she has 562,696 followers on Twitter which means over half a million of her fans couldn’t spare $1 for a download. That means less than 1 in 22 of your followers is interested enough to spring a buck for your music.)

And in case you missed it Where all this Kickstarter money is going by Amanda Palmer.

EDIT: This Fast Company article by Joe Berkowitz is one of the best: How Amanda Palmer broke records—and other music industry stuff—on Kickstarter.

4 thoughts on “Amanda Palmer

  1. I am not convinced that these numbers mean that FaceBook is a total waste of time for the artist. It does support my view that most people are worthless, cheap bastards who are not worth the time.

    • There are many ways to read it and you could break down those numbers in other ways. The conclusion I think you can draw is that social media (likes, followers, friends, etc.) numbers don’t mean what people think. Advertisers are beginning to find the same thing. But social media are useful tools nevertheless.

      One unfortunate long term consequence may be that the businesses built on these numbers may turn out to be insolvent without other sources of income.

      Also, from many different projects like this we can see fans spending an average of $50 when the artist is successful and offers a wide range of stuff. That is promising for the independent sector.

      • I loved Alycia’s post and again, I found it really exniitcg that they were able to raise not only their goal, but so much more. I think we’re definitely in the process of figuring out the potential pitfalls of crowd sourcing, but I still see it as a really encouraging trend. I know that some people think the patronage should be purely for the sake of enabling art, but I don’t think that giving them incentives (especially fun ones) is a bad thing at all. It’s a new kind of art patronage and the paradigm has changed in many ways that are absolutely advantageous to artists.The Blue Scholars’ story seems more to me about a learning curve and also a specific outlet Kickstarter for funding. They say they’d think twice about doing it again, but more about using Kickstarter than actually crowd sourcing, and I’ve heard a lot of that lately. I’m glad they’re talking about it, though, because they bring up a lot of valid points. Their example is a specific one, too, where they basically got advance CD orders by using crowd sourcing, rather than using it to finance a project and giving a perk for the contribution. This is one of the models that has emerged, though, and it does come with a particular set of challenges.It seems that this kind of independent financing goes hand in hand with independent distribution, which has become possible in ways we’d never imagined, thanks to the digital channels that have emerged. When those two things work harmoniously, it is a beautiful thing. I’m excited to see how it develops, too, and certainly hope that it doesn’t diminish the financing for the arts that come from other sources (like the government), but rather, lets quality independent projects see the light of day and thus gain exposure and validity in the eyes of the public and the private sectors.

  2. Pingback: Should Amanda Palmer pay her musos? | Bemuso

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