Crowdfunding the Arts

October 4, 2011 § 1 Comment

At some point we have all dreamed of seeing our name in the end credits of a movie or maybe seeing it on the program of your favorite dance performance… Well, it’s possible. One of the consequence of the revolution in the web and the transition to the “Web 2.0” is that internet users took the power. The traditional separation between producers and users has disappeared: the web is now full of “UGC” (user generated contents), the one and only proof of that shift lies in the great success of amateur videos ! Remember the massive hit “Charlie bit me” (http://youtube.com/w/?v=_OBlgSz8sSM) yeah I know you want to see it again): it took only two babies and one video camera to do this! My point is: you don’t need to hold a business card anymore to broadcast your own content on the web. Every single user has the legitimacy to produce content and share it. If it’s good and catches attention, your video will appear on facebook status and twitter feeds, and it will go fast, really fast. Worst case scenario, your video gets 3 views (your parents and a good friend that felt sorry for you), no big deal, try again later.

Professionals, especially in the entertainment business, must adapt to this new pattern of the web. If you seek a young and dynamic audience, you just can’t ignore social networks. But as we just saw it, the internet user is no longer just a viewer: he wants to be a doer (youtube video making), he wants to express his opinion and be a content advisor (via Facebook and twitter). One answer to those desires is crowdfunding.

The following article from The Guardian gives a nice example of a crowdfunding platform: http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/culture-cuts-blog/2011/mar/11/crowdfunding-arts-wedidthis

In this article, it’s mainly about funding. But I believe getting money is not the only benefit of crowdfunding. If done well, your crowdfunding campaign can turn in a tremendous marketing operation. When do you give the best of yourself for something ? When you’re concerned, when you feel you are part of something. Some movie producers understood that and now use crowdfunding mainly to promote the movie. Indeed, in the end, the money given by the people will only cover some minor expenses, but with crowdfunding, producers gets the best PR agents possible. Thanks to your accounts in the social networks and the messages you will send to all your friends (because let’s not forget that you gave money for this production, so it better works), professional takes the most profit of Web 2.0. By the way, when you look at it, you didn’t’ get much in return, just your name on a piece of paper and the pride to boast off with your friend and say: hey I co-produceed this show! Rather a good deal for producers no ?

Emmanuel –

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