Crowd Surfer at Men Without Hats Concert (Courtesy Photos by Mavis)
2012 was a huge year for music crowdfunding. I wrote about some of last year's developments for Hypebot, titling it The Year Music Crowdfunding Broke. 2013 will be about what happens now that music crowdfunding has established its legitimacy as an emerging form of financing.
Tour/Concert Crowdfunding Leaves Niche Status
Music tour and concert crowdfunding began to emerge in 2012 with such events as the launch of GigFunder and the entry of Songkick into music concert fanfunding with Songkick Detour.
Though many one-off events can be satisfied with other platforms, crowdfunding tours or concert series require the equivalent of multiple crowdfunding campaigns organized for a single group or event producer. So concert crowdfunding offers a strong emergent niche platform.
What concert crowdfunding needs is a major success to educate by example through media coverage.
Larger Companies Enter the Game
Though Songkick Detour is taking its time and learning via short concert runs for a handful of musicians, their launch was a reminder that larger web companies focused on music, especially services for musicians, are likely to be considering the place of crowdfunding in their offerings. While some may want to start allied ventures like Songkick Detour, others may want to take advantage of the emergence of crowdfunding as a feature.
Music Crowdfunding as a Feature
Online ticketing service Picatic introduced event crowdfunding as a feature rather than launching a separate platform. Though not music-specific, Picatic illustrates how artist services companies can become involved with crowdfunding by adding it as a feature.
Growth of Music Crowdfunding Consultants
We're starting to see crowdfunding expert consultants emerge, such as Scott Steinberg, who includes music crowdfunding examples among the campaigns in The Crowdfunding Bible, and Levi James and Ian Anderson, who are open sourcing their development of expertise at Launch and Release. But 2013 should bring a bumper crops of experts available for consultation, some with experience and others just playing it by ear.
Waiting in the Wings: Equity Crowdfunding
So far the focus here at Crowdfunding For Musicians has been on the Kickstarter/PledgeMusic model of presales and rewards (to oversimplify their differing models). With the passage of the JOBS Act, the possibility of crowdfunding investment cash for music companies, which could include bands incorporated as businesses, became an option.
However delays on the S.E.C.'s part in issuing regulations means that equity crowdfunding may not become possible until 2014. At whatever point things come together, equity crowdfunding will certainly have an impact on music crowdfunding but the nature of investments means it will have a different and possibly unanticipated look.
Got any predictions about music crowdfunding in 2013? Please share in the comments!
Clyde Smith writes about music tech startups and DIY music business at Hypebot.com. You can keep up with his music industry writing via @fluxresearch and follow music crowdfunding news via @crowdfundingm