When Marillion crowdfunded the making of their 13th and excellent album Marbles in 2004, they set a precedent in how albums were made. In fact, you can go back to 1997 to see how ahead of the curve Marillion were when a group of fans raised $60,000 on the internet to finance a US tour.
Of course, the crowdfunding model has now become an accepted means for bands and musicians to finance albums, tours and other projects. Certainly, having something akin to a profile helps, but also bands will incentivise your fans by giving them credits for having done so …. name check, producer credit, limited edition version of the album, rare art prints etc.
The Songkick Detour project is another interesting project, which allows music fans to draw their favourite artists to their city through crowdfunding. Effectively, this is crowdfunding for getting your favourite band to play live. The idea is very simple. A band announces that they want to tour a certain country or continent. Then fans in different cities pledge to buy tickets (with credit card preauthorisation) if the band can come to their city.
If there is enough fan interest, the band will make sure it visits that city as part of its tour and books the right-sized venue. What a brilliant idea to garner some element of commitment before a cent or penny has been billed, and hopefully in the lucky case of a tour happening, those cents or pennies will be billed because your favourite band will come to your city.
For example, as publicised through the website, punktastic.com, there is a campaign to get the band Braid from the US to the UK through the Songkick Detour’s London website and they use an invite code to ensure that Braid is the band you want to see.
The fans drive the band’s success and that’s the model that ensures the band sees the reward. The band is the salesperson, the marketeer: the band is responsible for the success of foresaid product, gig or tour – but ensures buy-in with its fanbase to ensure that any given item is for its intended audience.
Whether Kickstarter, PledgeMusic, Sponsume, IndieGoGo, PleaseFundUs or the arts funding crowdfunding platform Angel Shares, the band now has plentiful opportunities to utilise the positive disruption of the crowd to its advantage.