Wednesday, February 13, 2013

When Kickstarter Doesn't Work

Crowdfunding campaigns are sometimes considered an almost can't-miss way to raise money for a project, but that's often far from the case. Even though slightly over 50% of music projects do get fully funded, there have been some high profile failures (think Public Enemy) recently.

The latest is Bjork's Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund the development of a new version of her Biophilia album app, this time for Android and Windows 8. The campaign was cancelled just 10 days in when it reached just 4% of it's goal of 375,000 pounds (about $580,000US).

The original Biophilia iPad app offered interactive modules for each song on Bjork's Biophilia album, which included games, animation and the ability to remix songs. Porting it to both Windows and Android platforms was a way to get it into more low income households in the interest of music education, according to the site.

When it comes to crowdfunding campaigns, there are 3 main impediments to funding:

1. Is the project sexy? Porting an app from iOS to Windows and Android just doesn't grab the imagination somehow. iOS owns the market (at least for now), and a great number of potential donators are Apple fanboys, so the basic premise was never going to work.

2. The reward tiers. There just wasn't anything sexy with the Biophilia app award tiers either. Art prints of the app graphics from a B list artist won't cut it, no matter how cool they might be (and they are very cool).

3. The monetary goal. Let's face it, the lower the amount of money you're trying to raise, the more likely you'll achieve it. While I don't for a second think that the amount Bjork was trying to raise was out of line with its needs, it was just too big a chunk to bite off. Bjork isn't successful enough as an artist to pull a campaign like this off.

For those of you who intend to create a crowdfunding campaign in the future, use this as a template of what not to do.

Here's the promo video for the project.


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Jef Knight said...

An excellant look at bring the 'sexy' to your communications can be found in "Don't be such a Scientist" by Randy Olsen.


Rand Bliss said...

Ironic that this particular 'B list artist' (B standing for B*tch with a Capital B) is one of the most overrated, over-hyped prima donnas anyway.

Google 'bjork slaps reporter' and watch the law of cause and effect begin.

What goes around comes around...


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