Musician Amanda Palmer has raised $368,000 [Ed note: the amount went up to $379K in the screen shot taken 4 hours after the story was originally posted] in just two days on fundraising site Kickstarter to promote and distribute her latest album. The project went live Monday, April 30 and will run until May 31.
Palmer, a solo artist and member of the Dresden Dolls, has received pledges - effectively donations - from 6,626 backers through midday Wednesday. According to a Kickstarter spokesperson, the project already holds the site's record for value of pledges and number of pledges. Nearly 2,400 people have pledged $1 and will receive a digital download of the album. About 2,900 people have pledged $25 and will get a digital download and CD in a hardbound case. Funding tiers go all the way to the Kickstarter limit of $10,000 - 1 of 5 has already been taken. For people who want to chip in more than $10,000, Palmer has created an alternative financing vehicle called the Loan Spark that facilitates loans rather than donations.
Kickstarter has become a popular way for musicians, designers and other creators to raise money from fans for their projects. In Kickstarter's three years of operation, $38 million has been pledged for music projects. "i think Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms like this are the BEST way to put out music right now - no label, no rules, no fuss, no muss," Palmer wrote at the project's Kickstarter page.
Palmer is set to join Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails as the artists that people tend to mention when they talk about the new music business. All three artists have had success outside of the traditional record label system, and all of them have gained notoriety for the ways they used digital distribution and direct-to-fan sales. But unlike Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails, Palmer did not first make a name for herself on a major label. Although she was a member of the duo Dresden Dolls and signed to Roadrunner Records, Palmer's career acceleration has come more from her post-Roadrunner use of social media.
Palmer also had a note to Bob Lefsetz of the Lefsetz Letter where she said the following: "at the moment i'm writing this, we've reached over $250,000 after only one day of being live. go look. that's about $50k MORE than the scheduled recording budget i wouldn't have been given if i'd stayed on roadrunner... AND WE'RE ONLY ON THE FIRST DAY."
That note was sent yesterday, and she has already well-surpassed that mark, taking her tally to what, according to Palmer, would be $168,000 more than the budget she would have received at her previous label, the newly-realigned Roadrunner Records.