Business Matters: Are Kickstarter Pledges Taxable Income?
Business Matters: Are Kickstarter Pledges Taxable Income?

In its first two years, Kickstarter has helped musicians raise $13.1 million in fan funding for their projects. This and other stats were made available in a company blog post celebrating its second birthday.

Film is the category with the most pledges with $19.7 million. Music is second. Art is third with $3.2 million, publishing was fourth with $2.7 million and theater was fifth with $2.6 million.

A total of $53 million has been pledged from 591,773 backers (79,658 of them are repeat backers) and $40 million collected from successful projects that met their fundraising goals. That leaves $7 million for unsuccessful projects and $6 million currently pledged to live projects.

The site is at the heart of an upsurge in fan-funded projects enabled by sites like Kickstarter that allow creators to raise funds for a wide range of projects, such as albums, tours, documentary films and books of photography. The creator sets a fundraising goal and typically offers many different tiers of participation (an album download for $10, for example, with a hand-written thank you card and T-shirt thrown in for $30). If the fundraising goal is met, the creator gets the money (less 5% to Kickstarter as well as Amazon Payments fees). If not, nobody's credit cards are charged.

Other stats of interest:
-- Of the 20,371 projects launched, 7,496 have been successful - a 43% success rate.
-- Of the 9,700 unsuccessful projects, 21% never raised a single pledge.
-- Of projects that received one or more pledges, 52% were successful.
-- After inception, the amounts pledged per month grew slowly for about the first 10 months and then went on a steep, upward slope. Monthly pledges have increased to $7 million in March from about $4 million in January, $2.8 million in September, $1.2 million in March 2010 and about $500,000 in September 2009.
-- Not surprisingly, the number of projects launched each month has grown as well. More than 2,200 projects were launched in March, up from about 1,300 in December and 750 in April 2010.