Why Kickstarter? July 24 2013, 5 Comments
Understandably, some people have raised questions regarding why we are asking fans to raise money for our new album and we wanted to take this opportunity to answer them.
Professional musicians earn money mainly by performing or selling their recorded music. Some have suggested that we pay for the album out of our gig money. Seems reasonable, however you have to understand: producing, marketing, and distributing studio-recorded albums is a completely different animal than producing live shows. They are distinct ventures that come with their own separate expenditures. When we do a gig we have to pay the musicians, the sound and lights, the hall rental, etc. When we make an album we have to pay the musicians, the studio rental, the engineer, the mixer and masterer, the manufacturer, the art designer, the distributor, the PR guy, the… I hope you get the picture. These two things are mutually exclusive of one another.
Others have questioned why we are asking for fans to both fund the album and then buy the music later. This is a misunderstanding. You are not paying for the album to be made and then ALSO buying it separately. With your Kickstarter pledge you get a CD and/or vinyl – and other merchandise - for your money. Payments on Kickstarter start at as little as $10 for a digital download of the album. Its pretty much commerce as usual, like you'd order it on ITunes or Amazon EXCEPT it benefits us a bit more in that there is no middleman (except the Kickstarter and Amazon Payments processing fees).
Sure, this "prepayment" model is attractive to us because it acts as a form of insurance that offsets the considerable costs of making a professional sounding album. Yes, we could invest our cash in the product and let the market play out as it may. But, Kickstarter exists for a very real reason: musician’s recorded product revenues from album sales have plummeted alarmingly, drastically and fatally over the last decade. To have the money in the bank before we go to pressing is nothing short of a miracle and a relief and we are more than happy this new crowd funding thing exists.
The zeitgeist has changed and people feel good about supporting the artists they love. They know that record labels aren’t the best thing for recording artists like us, and want to be supportive. But this is not asking for a handout. It’s simply a way for us to gather “pre-payments” for the record. On Kickstarter, you can buy the CD today and receive bonus tracks, or you can wait and buy it later through Amazon or ITunes where we will receive less, after Apple’s cut. Most importantly, all the while, we retain ownership and control of our music.
Please note: if we don’t reach our $65,000 goal, we don’t get any of the Kickstarter pledges. All pre-orders on Kickstarter will be null and void. Which will mean it’s time for Plan B. We start over from scratch.
I hope that answers any questions about our choice to go with Kickstarter and I hope that you are all as excited as us to complete this sucker so we can move on to the fun stuff!