Just an old man's crowd-funding rant

8Mile

Platinum Member
Nothing to add other than to give props to tcspears for all-around excellent contributions to this forum. Thoughtful and articulate stuff, man. Well done. You are an asset to Drummerworld.
 

IDDrummer

Platinum Member
I've seen more heated arguments over the Star Wars Prequils than we are having about crowdfunding, so there isnt that much energy being expended.
Lol, I don't mean here. This has been a great discussion. He just said it pissed him off so much he couldn't finish reading the opening post. Seemed a waste of energy, that's all.

You want heated arguments, let's talk about badges!!!!
 

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
Wow, it it seems such a waste to get so pissed off about something like this. It takes a lot of energy and focus to be pissed off!
I've seen more heated arguments over the Star Wars Prequils than we are having about crowdfunding, so there isnt that much energy being expended.
 

IDDrummer

Platinum Member
To be honest, crowd funding pisses me off so much that I probably didn't even make it through the original post!
Wow, it it seems such a waste to get so pissed off about something like this. It takes a lot of energy and focus to be pissed off!
 

vxla

Silver Member
So funny, since the OP has begun to look at the crowdfunding phenom in a different light.
Usually I'm the Luddite. You guys are making me feel young! lol
To be honest, crowd funding pisses me off so much that I probably didn't even make it through the original post!
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
TC, that's a most excellent response. Thanks for taking the time to write it all out. You explain everything really well (keep in mind that I teach college-level English classes).

Another deep-rooted belief that I have is if a band or musician puts out a stellar product, puts on a good show, and actually knows how to handle his/her finances, they shouldn't have to do any sort of fundraising. For example, when I started playing hammered dulcimer and selling CDs and playing shows, I did really well financially. I saved my money, re-invested my money in merch, other projects, etc., and things just really blossomed nicely. I got a few magazine write-ups, TV appearances, talked to colleges, did presentations, developed relationships with a couple of national HD champions, and got to do some really cool stuff. I believed enough in myself to only put my money and welfare at risk, no one else's...and I did pretty well. Eventually, I got burned out on the whole thing with a new job, commute, kids, etc. With that said, just today I got booked at my first of many hammered dulcimer gigs (I'm getting back into it a little to see where it leads). I'm really proud of what I've accomplished with basically no support system besides my wife. If I can do it, anyone can. It's about finding a niche market, and I've found mine.

Thanks again everyone! Anyone wanna help me buy a PA system?
 

tcspears

Gold Member
I don't feel like the world or anyone owes me anything...no matter how hard I work.
Looking at that Kickstarter example, do they give off the impression that people owe them? No they are presenting a business case and opening up to investors.

Everyone keeps using the term "investor." When I give, I expect nothing in return. (e.g. buying a homeless person a meal, etc.). I'm happy to do it.

However, if I were an investor and I invested in a company, I would give the company a certain amount of money in hopes that I would get a financial return.
I guess it's the concept of return that is different. In my coal mine example, the investor would get their money back with interest over time.

Look at the Kickstarter example that I had used. If I invest $30, I get a Vinyl press of the new album, plus a digital download. That's my return... that and the karma that comes along with supporting the humanities :)

You're investing and getting a return, it's just not always financial. Look at some of the tiers they have. You can invest a certain amount and get a CD, some merch, and a personalized comic strip drawn by the band.

This isn't exactly charity, but it's not exactly buying shares in a business either. It's somewhere in between. When I donate money to a Church or a Cancer Center, my "return" is that the world I live in (or at least my local area) become slightly better for it.

When I buy shares in a stock, my return come from dividends and/or the ability to sell the stock at a higher price.

The humanities are somewhere in between. The Return is partly that you are making the world a better, more interesting place, and it's partly the product that the artist is making. By investing in a local band's album, you're showing the world that art and music are worthy of investmnet, encourage other musicians and artists to pursue the arts, and make the world a better place. You also get something in return, either artwork, CDs, merchandise, a shout out on the album, etc. Back to the Mozart example, he used to get wealthy patrons to invest in him writing a symphony, and in return their name would be printed on the cover.

I guess it is sort of like PBS. You donate $100 and get a coffee mug in return, which sounds like a terrible idea on paper. But PBS provides intangible value to the local communities and the world.

Take another look at that Kickstarter page, it's a business prospectus. They explain their business plan, they set tiers and milestones with deliverables, and they outline the projected return for the various investment levels. I guess it's similar to the PBS example; it doesn't come across like they think everyone owes them... they come across like a business.

FYI: I'm not angry about anything, but it was a "Rant." I take it about as seriously as complaining about the weather, and just about as effective as doing so. :) <--See smiley face! I'm not mad at all. I'm enjoying this discussion and everyone's opinions.
Me too, this has been fun! FYI even though I've been defending crowdfunding, I've never personally used it to attract investors. I've invested in projects, but I've never used it to circle investments... maybe someday :)

Part of the reason I feel so passionately about this is after going to music school, you learn a great deal about music, and then get dumped into the real world to fend for yourself. This has always been how musicians supported themselves (back to ancient Rome!) and I felt ripped off when I had to learn this for myself. I think Berklee is now teaching students how to get investors and how to raise money for projects, but for the longest time music schools seemed to ignore the business side of music.
 

IDDrummer

Platinum Member
FYI: I'm not angry about anything, but it was a "Rant." I take it about as seriously as complaining about the weather, and just about as effective as doing so. :) <--See smiley face! I'm not mad at all. I'm enjoying this discussion and everyone's opinions.
Yeah, it's actually been a good discussion. I tend to communicate in a humourous way, but it is good to hear the differing viewpoints.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Quick question: have you ever donated to a charity? I mean why shouldn't those cancer researchers bust their ass working three jobs so they can fund their research?
I give to my church, but my reasons for doing so can't be discussed here due to the "no religion discussion" rule. Nonetheless, you make a great point.

I understand your view point, growing up in the Midwest, but I think you should expand your way of thinking. For example, if you tried to crowd fund your PA system: if you've busted your ass playing all around and built up a fan base, you've already put in the work for those investors. You're not getting anything for free.
This right here is the crux of it. Even though I've put in tons of work trying to do music, I would feel like I'm getting something for nothing if people just gave me money. To me, this is the disconnect. I don't feel like the world or anyone owes me anything...no matter how hard I work.

Everyone keeps using the term "investor." When I give, I expect nothing in return. (e.g. buying a homeless person a meal, etc.). I'm happy to do it.

However, if I were an investor and I invested in a company, I would give the company a certain amount of money in hopes that I would get a financial return. If the company does well, I make bank. If the company does poorly, I go to board meetings, make phone calls, and raise cain in order to get a detailed explanation as to why I've not made anything, and I will demand a detailed plan on how the recipient of my investment plans make my money back. To me, that's investment.

If I give money to an artist, I want to own part of their product in hopes that I would make something in return. I guess some people do it so that the artist can continue. Me? I want my money back plus some eventually. If I pay $100 to help fund your project, I want to be part owner of your project. I would want a certain percentage back on every sale. If I invest in your studio, I want my money back plus some when things pick up. I'm guess I'm not too much of a do-gooder.

If I had an investor of my music decide to give me money for the sole purpose of furthering my craft, that's great. I accept PayPal, checks, money, orders, and credit cards. However, if you are an investor and actually want something monetary, forget it.

FYI: I'm not angry about anything, but it was a "Rant." I take it about as seriously as complaining about the weather, and just about as effective as doing so. :) <--See smiley face! I'm not mad at all. I'm enjoying this discussion and everyone's opinions.
 

tcspears

Gold Member
Quick question: What are these investors hoping to get in return? Are they "investing" in the artist just so the artist can keep going?

Sorry if I'm talking in circles here...
In business, that's part of your pitch. Everyone is going to have different expectations.

I just went on Kickstarter and clicked on the first band project that I saw... it's good example too. Freezepop Project

The band Freezepop from Somerville, MA setup a crowdfunding project. They actually tiered it, just like you would in a business.

They have a Base goal of $30k: with $30k they can record and release their new full-length album. They break out where the $30k goes to, and what percentage goes to each phase of recording.

If they can raise $40k, they will also release the album on vinyl.

$50k get bonus tracks plus a collaboration song

$60k gets more collaboration tracks and some remixes


So far, they've raised $47k!



They have an entire page that lists the busines prospectus, the same way a company would when selling stock, or a restaurateur would when pitching his restaurant idea to investors.

They have charts and graphs, release updates, they even have a risks and constraints section.


There are different levels at which you can invest, and the reutrn varies based on what you invest:

$5 gets you an MP3 download of one of their new songs

$10 get a digital-only copy of the album (in FLAC)

$20 gets a digital copy and a CD

$30 gets vinyl and a digital copy

$70 you get a band logo USB drive with all 159 tracks from their previous albums, plus a digital copy of the new album, plus a CD

it keeps going up with additional benefits. At $500 you get the album, digital copies, all their old song, some merch, and they will cover a song of your choosing.

This is the same with any business. If I want to open a coal mine, I go and pitch the idea to investors and give them different levels of investment that come with different (projected) levels of return.

I just picked this one at random, but take a look around, and I'm sure you'll see that most of these aren't 18 year olds looking for hand outs, they are businesses looking for investors.
 

trynberg

Senior Member
Quick question: What are these investors hoping to get in return? Are they "investing" in the artist just so the artist can keep going?

Sorry if I'm talking in circles here...
Quick question: have you ever donated to a charity? I mean why shouldn't those cancer researchers bust their ass working three jobs so they can fund their research?

I understand your view point, growing up in the Midwest, but I think you should expand your way of thinking. For example, if you tried to crowd fund your PA system: if you've busted your ass playing all around and built up a fan base, you've already put in the work for those investors. You're not getting anything for free.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Quick question: What are these investors hoping to get in return? Are they "investing" in the artist just so the artist can keep going?

Sorry if I'm talking in circles here...
 

IDDrummer

Platinum Member
While I see it in a little bit of a different light, overall I still see it as a cop-out and people should work for what they want. I don't want "investors." I want people to give me opportunities to play, and I want to sell merch. If people want to throw money at "artists," who am I to tell them what to do?

But for me? Our band is needing a better PA system. Am I crowdfunding? No. I'm trying to get side gigs to pay for said PA system. There's pride in that. If a person gets pride from asking for money and getting it, well, you come from a different breed than I.
I get your point, but as TCSpears has expressed much more eloquently than I ever could, these people aren't just panhandling, at least the majority are not. They are working for investors. There is pride in producing something that people are interested in investing in, and working to secure those investments, too.

I think you are unnecessarily limiting yourself. No, that isn't right - you are choosing a valid path, for sure, but you are choosing one that offers different opportunities and rewards than those who secure investors, without seeming to recognize or acknowledge the validity of the other path.

And yes, I'm a different breed than most, but that isn't particularly germaine to the topic at hand, lol.
 

T_Weaves

Silver Member
A big part of wisdom is being able to tell who is truly in need as well as who the hucksters are.
 

tcspears

Gold Member
While I see it in a little bit of a different light, overall I still see it as a cop-out and people should work for what they want. I don't want "investors." I want people to give me opportunities to play, and I want to sell merch. If people want to throw money at "artists," who am I to tell them what to do?

But for me? Our band is needing a better PA system. Am I crowdfunding? No. I'm trying to get side gigs to pay for said PA system. There's pride in that. If a person gets pride from asking for money and getting it, well, you come from a different breed than I.
I guess that's the part that you're missing. Courting investors is work. It's actually a huge part of what we do as musicians/artists. It's just basic business.

The train system in the US was built with money from investors. WWII was largely made possible by investors buying bonds to support the war effort. Every Beatles album was funded by investors before it was made... actually, pretty much any album (other than some local bands) was funded by investors before it was made.

Pretty much any movie you've ever seen was funded by investors prior to being made.

If you've ever seen a large touring band, that tour was funded by investors before it happened.

Have you ever eaten at a restaurant? Chances are very high that the restaurant is open because investors funded the opening of the restaurant.

Ever seen a coal mine? Those were all opened by presenting a case to investors, who then funded building a mine and the operational costs.

Ever buy an instrument from a major brand? That's because investors funded the company to allow it to grow and expand. That PA you are saving money for, that's available because investors funded that company.

People asking for money to produce an album aren't copping out of anything, they are continuing a tradition that has been in all businesses for centuries. What you're feeling pride in is taking the long way, you aren't working any more than anyone else. Even with tools like GoFundMe, it takes work to court investors, you have to present a business case, and if you aren't fully funded, you don't get anything.

I don't mean this in an insulting way, but I think you just aren't grasping the business side of music... or just how business works in general.
 
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