How To Be An Indie Kickstarter

This morning, MC Lars tweeted that he was putting up a Kickstarter campaign to finish his new album, Lars Attacks!  I was at the NAB Show in Las Vegas, so I wasn’t able to check it out until the evening.

His goal was a meager $5,000.  I suspect he didn’t really need it to finish the album, and his real goal was to give fans a chance to be a part of the new album.  Lars clearly understands that a self-publishing indie musician needs to foster direct fan interaction.  And he set the campaign rewards very smartly.  Small contributions are simply pre-orders for the album, but at $100, you get to actually be part of the new album (playing percussion), and $1000 gets you an executive producer credit.  Even higher levels get you Lars’s rhyme book and microphone used on the album, or the laptop that he used to make the album.

When I finally checked, the campaign had already passed it’s goal.  It’s currently at $11,243 from 181 backers – an average of over $62 each.  (The person who pledged $3000 for Lars’s laptop, and the person who pledged $1500 for the rhyme book and microphone kind of blew the curve – the average without them is just below $40.)  The most popular pledge level was $30 for the album and t-shirt.

Wow.  $11,000 in less then 24 hours.  And 29 days left – who knows how high it will go.

There have been a number of musicians using Kickstarter to fund album releases.  In the early days, Andy Baio used it to raise $8,647 (on a $2,000 goal) to pay musicians and royalties for his 8-bit Miles Davis tribute, Kind Of Bloop.  Now dozens of bands have used Kickstarter to fund their music, giving their fans a chance to be a bigger part of the music than just buying albums or concert tickets.

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