If you’re unfamiliar with Kickstarter, people from the internet pledge set amounts of money towards a fundraising goal, and if enough pledges come in to reach that preset goal by a preset deadline, everyone’s credit card gets billed. Often times people with Kickstarter pages attach rewards to specific donation amounts.
How this works out with the aforementioned band is that a $20 pledge gets you an autographed copy of their album on vinyl and also a digital download of it, should they receive enough pledges to raise the $1,700. If that amount isn’t raised, no one gets billed and nothing happens. A $50 pledge gets you all the aforementioned and a tee shirt. A $500 pledge gets you all the aforementioned and a spot on the guest list to every future Whitman show ever.
Menswear blog Put This On successfully raised over $70,000 to finance season two of their web series that helps grown men dress like grown men (shot on location in a handful of major European cities). The shooting wrapped and they’re now in the editing stage.
I wanted to highlight these two fundraising efforts on Kickstarter as great examples of how the internet can help artists directly engage their fans to raise money for new artistic works in a way that is protective of what many artists consider their intellectual property rights (a band could set up a Kickstarter page to finance the recording of their next single or album and receive the money before anything had even been recorded).
Whatever you think of Whitman and their new record, the fundraising process used by Kickstarter is a promising one for the future of music.