Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising money from a large amount of people via the internet.
Morrissey says that when a musician turns to crowdfunding it’s desperate and insulting. In a way it can also be seen as lazy for artists to crowdfund and It’s easy to see why a lot of people see crowdfunding as a negative thing for musicians. They could be portrayed as greedy and as being a bit egotistical. Also, it could really affect an artists career if they failed to make enough money, it would be embarassing for them and their fans quite could possibly lose respect for them.
Kickstarter, one of the biggest crowdfunding sites had its biggest musical success in 2012 with controversial musician Amanda Palmer. She managed to raise over $1.2 million for her album ‘Theatre Is Evil’ and has become a massive supporter of the site and even urged Morrissey to start a Kickstarter campaign. Obviously this isn’t going to work for every single musician, for example, someone like Beyoncé probably wouldn’t succeed, because people would say, ‘You’re Beyoncé, why should we pay for this when you have more money than most people in the world.’ But for someone who isn’t at the height of fame but does have a strong fanbase it could really work to their advantage.
Crowdourcing is similar to crowdfunding, it’s the process of obtaining needed services, ideas or content from a large group of people usually via the internet.
Crowdsourcing is not nearly as popular as crowdfunding. One of the few examples of a musician using crowdsourcing is, once again, Amanda Palmer. She got far more flak with this venture than she did with crowdfunding. Steve Albini heavily criticised her for this, he though that her recent endeavours have made her ‘an idiot’. Which is difficult to disagree with. She offered her fans a chance to play with her on tour on a completely free basis, “only offering ‘beer, hug/high-five you up and down (pick your poison), give you merch.” It didn’t exactly go down too well. Having just made $1.2 million on a Kickstarter campaign, people were obviously quite enraged because how could she possibly ask musicians to play for free when she just made millions. She later went back on that idea and decided to pay the musicians who had initially volunteered.
So is crowdfunding really the future for musicians? I don’t believe so. I think it’s a road a musician can go down if they’re brave enough but to saying it’s the future is a stretch. Crowdfunding can be a great thing if you want to fund a business venture but within the music industry it’s just too risky.