Amanda Palmer's record-setting Kickstarter campaign blew past the $500,000 mark Friday evening and stood at $536,275 Saturday afternoon. The project, to raise money to promote her new album, has received more pledges and a greater value of pledges than any other music project in Kickstarter's three-year history. The project's fundraising period will end May 31.
Palmer's stunning success could bring more significant artists to the platform. Kickstarter has received a good amount of attention for projects outside of music, such as the number of Sundance Film Festival selections that were funded through the site. But there had not been a breakout music project to draw significant media attention and lure well-known artists to the platform. That could change as Palmer shows Kickstarter's potential to raise major label-type funds from fans.
Most of the money pledged has come from big-ticket items not usually offered by artists. Eighty-two percent of the 9,375 pledges have been for either $1-$24 for a digital download or $25-$49 for a limited edition CD and digital download. But the two lowest tiers of pledges account for roughly 20% of dollars pledged. The remaining 80% or so of dollars pledged comes from the relatively few pledges of far greater value. For example, Palmer has received 294 pledges of $300 to $500 that grant entrance to VIP parties in select markets.
The items that received the most dollars were house parties. Palmer has received 29 pledges of $5,000 (up to $9,999 if the person making the pledge wants to give more) for house parties. But these events don't have the profit margin of digital downloads. Palmer promises she will perform anywhere in the world in the next 18 months for a $5,000 pledge (although she has limited the number of shows to 35 and has 6 remaining).