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Friday, May 31, 2013

Crowdfunding in music industry - a Blessing or a Curse?

Hey folks,

today I want to discuss something, which is far away from reviews, interviews and all that stuff. Due to recent events I want to talk about Crowdfunding. This subject is highly topical at the moment, especially in the last few weeks where well-known bands like Crashdiet or ReVamp made use of it.

For those of you, who haven't heard about "Crowdfunding" yet: it's nothing more than a money collection campaign. Artists ask you for your money to finance one of their projects and in return you'll receive some goodies like a special T-shirt, autographed poster or something like that. It's your choice which things you want to have and how much money you like to spend, but each goodie has a fixed price. This concept is used everywhere, whether if it comes to music, movie or game industry. "Kickstarter" and "Indiegogo" are typical platforms for this.

Crowdfunding gives especially unknown musicians the opportunity to finance an album recording, which wouldn't have been possible without your help. So in this case it is a good thing. I mean, it's some kind of prepayment. You spend 15 € or $ and you'll get a copy of the CD when the recording process is finished. Really good thing.

But what really pisses me off is when this good concept is abused, just to make more money! And that is exactly what Crashdiet did and ReVamp are doing right now! They collect money for their tour activities and that really makes me angry, because we, the fans, have to pay the bill twice! We buy tickets for the show and then they want us to buy some more goodies so that the tour can take place? Wtf? The ticket sales should take care about this matter. Why I'm paying for the entry?
The bad thing is most of the goodies are totally overpriced or hilarious. A tour-shirt for 35 €? 60 $ just to read my name in the booklet of the new CD? 5 $ to get a "thank you" on a facebook fan page? 20 € for unreleased demos? 350 € for some broken strings/beaten drum heads/broken sticks (all in all: TRASH)? What the fuck is wrong with you guys? That seems like exploitation. Aren't you feel like beggars? Where is your pride?

But what bothers me the most is the fact that there are so many people out there who support this shit and feel good with it. Do you really know for what the money will be used? Certainly not. Don't we support our favorite bands enough by buying their CD's, by buying their Merchandise, by buying their tickets? There was a time before "Crowdfunding", where each band had to organize a tour with all its costs on their own ... and it worked! Therefore I don't understand why so many bands choose the crowdfunding-path now to finance their tour. It would be something different if we won't have to pay the tickets then.

Yes I know, it's up to you how much you support an artist, but the problem is following: If thousends of people support this shady business on one, two or three well-known bands, then you'll see much more bands will jump on that train and this trend is really disturbing. Just think about it and to what this could lead in the future. What could that mean for thousands of fans out there?

I know Crashdiet had this idea because of the death of their manager and with him their money was gone. But be honest to yourselfs: that's their own fault. I mean why is the entire money away? Therefore you've contracts and insurances. That is simply bad organisation and in the end the fans had to pay for the bands mistakes. This is just sad. Nevertheless the campaign was very successful . Crashdiet reached more than 30.000 € (the goal was 7.000 €). But like I said: many other musicians will think now "Oh that really works, we could also do this." ReVamp - you guys feel addressed?!

That's the whole dilemma. I'm not a hater of Crowdfunding - I think it can help musicians who REALLY need it and where you get a fair reward for your money ... and of course where you have to pay fair prices. But in my opinion bands like Crashdiet or ReVamp are "big" enough to stand on their own feed. They don't need to beg for more money.

Now it's your turn. What do you think about the things Crashdiet and ReVamp did and what is your opinion on Crowdfunding in general? Are you also skeptical? Or do you love to support such projects? Let's discuss! :)




  1. In many cases it has become hard to draw the line between crowdfunding, pre-sales and sponsoring.

    I think it is okay to have a sponsor contribute money and give him promotional services back.

    It is okay to pre-slee your CDs and shirts to your fans (that's what crowdfunding actually looks like to me).

    But when it comes to buying yourself into the "Special Thanks" list things get absurd. To all the fans: If I get a spot on someone's "Thank You" list then this happens because I have done something for that artist - plus: that guy really knows who I am...

  2. Julian, I agree with you.
    The main idea behind crowdfunding is good, but many people are too blind to see when they get cheated. This article is a warning for everyone.

  3. I agree. Totally. Crowdfunding is also being used to rip people off. It's almost blackmail for dummies.