Found at : http://www.appsblogger.com/behind-kickstarter-crowdfunding-stats/
Tom Foremski “Is corporate media the new funding model for serious journalism?”
Foremski T, 2012 ‘Is Corporate media the new funding model for serious journalism?”, viewed April 10, 2013, < http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/mt/archives/2012/11/is_corporate_me.php >
Foremski begins by reinforcing the importance of good quality journalism for society and laments the possibility that all journalism is will soon be influences by special interest groups. Terrifyingly he sites Gina Rinehart’s take over of Fairfax media in 2012 as a good example of this (good lord).
He describes CISCO and Nissan’s forays into journalism as promising starts to the new trend, but concedes that the book is still being written (‘we’re flying the plane, as well as building it too’). So far, this method is working because they are designed to be indistinguishable from reliable news programs; and they have a well respected brand name to protect. Foremski doesn’t even mention potential bias which seems odd.
He then speaks briefly about the financial success related to corporate media. Nissan and CISCO know that ultimately they will judge their success on how many cars/electrical goods they sell- massive advantage over traditional media where success has to be measured in an audience reach of tens of millions. There is less pressure and more flexibility.
Media is a loss leader, you need something else to sell. If all you have is media to sell, then you will have losses.
Ultimately does imply that this could be elaborate publicity, rather than genuine media. However good points and an unheard of perspective on media funding.
‘Creative partnerships: fundraising for short film projects’ Andrew Kelly
Kelly, A 1999 ‘Creative partnerships: fundraising for short film projects’ International Journal of Nonproﬁt and Voluntary Sector Marketing Vol. 6 No. 1 pp.9-20
In this journal article Kelly describes traditional financial supports of media as ‘creative partners’ applying a positive spin to the implications of traditional funding.
What I found most interesting however, was his principles of good sponsorship:
- There is a wide range of stakeholders involved and a relationship is built with each: sponsors and funders are part of the stakeholders
- A marketing, customer-centred approach is pursued which involves a continuous search for new sponsors and funders
- Relationships are long term
- A return is always provided
- Time is not wasted approaching stakeholders who are not interested — approaches are always targeted
- While a large grant from one sponsor is ideal, it is unlikely and therefore a range of sponsors needs to be attracted
- A strong board and set of supporters are appointed as agents for the festival soliciting inﬂuence and funding among colleagues and suppliers
- Even though a not-for-proﬁt company, the festival is run as a commercial operation, constantly seeking opportunities for new funding and sponsorship but without losing sight of wider goals
- Throughout, there is a focus on quality in all aspects of the service provided, ranging from print publicity to the ﬁnal report, which is a detailed account of activity, media coverage, audiences, problems and future opportunities.
While these principles focus more on traditional methods of funding, they are nonetheless transferable to new methods of crowd funding and pitching. It seems the more I read, the more the principles have not changed just the audience and the method of reaching them.
Bhatia, V. K. (1998). Generic patterns in fundraising discourse. New directions for philanthropic fundraising, 1998(22), 95-110.
This particular chapter of Bhatia’s book covers traditional forms of independent fundraising. That is, before the Internet and the popularity of crowd funding websites. A lot of time is spent going through pitches and the language of proposal. Exciting language that makes the recipient feel as excited as you do about your proposal. It must be pitched as if nothing has ever been made like it before- the audience feels like they are part of something groundbreaking.
However Bhatia concedes that pitch proposal has many similarities between traditional advertising campaigns (the landscape of which has changed significantly since publishing). Naturally Bhatia focusses on successful advertising as a structure for proposal:
Target the market
Justifying the product of service (indicating its importance/establishing a niche)
Identifying, describing the value of the service.
Using Pressure tactics
Soliciting a response
I think that this chronology of action in itself is a fantastic basis for Kick Starter users. In particular those who do not have marketing experience, are beginners in the industry and are more focused on creating a film than pitching, marketing and selling it. The emphasis on ‘fundraising discourse’ (which does not vary greatly depending on who is being pitched to eg. public, corporate etc.) is excellent. The method of pitching has not changed because the audience has not- we’re still human and still receptive to the same language techniques- its just the method of communicating the pitch that has changed.
“Crowdsourcing and outsourcing: the impact of online funding and distribution on the documentary film industry in the UK” by Inge Ejbye Sørensen.
Sørensen, Inge Ejbye “Crowdsourcing and outsourcing: the impact of online funding and distribution on the documentary film industry in the UK” Media, Culture & Society, 2012, Vol.34(6), pp.726-743
Online documentary financing and distribution are no longer niche activities for newbie producers. Sorensen describes how alternative funding has effected everything about film production. He concedes that ultimately funding is key to every stage of development.
Sorensen continues to look at film production through the ‘budget’ perspective and conceded that while film maker retain creative freedom, editorial control and rights to the film, the absence of a sponsor puts more stress on the filmmaker.
Firstly in terms of budget- Kick Starter campaigns are laborious and need to be executed by someone with extensive marketing prowess. With a major broadcaster, the budget is provided. Directors are often pulled in all directions, finding cast, crew and equipment. Broadcasters will provide much of this from their existing stock/network.
In post and film distribution, the director once again takes on multiple roles: PR person, saleswoman, fundraiser, public speaker and distributor. In in addition to film maker. The overall point here is that many great film makers exist but not all of them have the ability to distribute it justly.
Sorensen presents a lot of case studies and overwhelmingly concedes that a successful crowd sourcing campaign is based almost entirely on credibility and a killer idea. People are only interested if they have a person connection to the production. Whether it be that they’ve seen the your work before and liked it or that the idea is something they desperately desire to see created. People only every love something for how it makes THEM feel.
This is a really good article and I think we can refer to it more to give our study structure as well as direction eg. What hasn’t Sorensen covered??
The Art of Funding Your Film: Alternative Financing Concepts by Carol Lee Dean.
Dean C.L (2003) ‘The Art of Funding Your Film: Alternative Financing Concepts’ Dean Publishing: NY USA.
Dean brings a wealth of experience in her book, after beginning her career in the independent film industry in 1968 selling left over film stock. Dean’s book is not unlike others in the field. She covers basic funding models and traditional funding models. The implications of having both the pressure and surveillance of the funding body. The desire to create something by the artist without the soul crushing reality of finances attached.
Dean does not dwell on the same tired points but instead gives only what 40 years of experience could: wisdom and contacts. Where Dean is unable to give enough information, she interviews a variety of other experts on the matter. She does not stick to conventional directers and producers either, she has everyone from fundraising gurus, marketing experts and entertainment law specialists.
In particular this final point of interviewees will really assist us in our own research. Its not just Kick Starter users that know about fundraising, the people with the real answers may not even be affiliated with crowd funding at all! We shall see.
How to Pitch for a Crowd Funding Project
Hughes, Holly Stuart; Walker, David (2011) ‘How to Pitch for a Crowd Funding Project’ Photo District News, Eastern ed.31. 3: 42-44,46,48.
This article covers three photographers and their successful Kick Starter campaigns. Stanley Greenberg, Renee Clement and Amira Al-Sharif all acquired their total requirements to fund their photo exhibition, books and assignments, however they all concede that successful campaigns are not done by halves.
Major points expressed by all three:
- It’s a difficult task. If you don’t reach your goal by your deadline, you don’t receive any money.
- To succeed, your pitch needs to be clear, enthusiastic and appealing to people who don’t know you or your work but will be willing to help spread the word.
- You also need to be able to ask friends and family to give you money.
Once again, all three conceded that it is just as much an exercise in marketing, as it is in fund raising. The process seems quite laboured.
Firstly, all photographers had little to no activity early on. They had written excellent pitches and sold their ideas well, however it wasn’t enough to keep it in people’s minds long enough to inspire a donation.
Many people would view or like it but then promptly forget about the project.
Identifying anyone and everyone who could be interested in the project. People from their own professional and personal networks, past colleagues and clients. A contact of another person’s contact. Greenberg suggested sending out varied updates about the project. Not necessarily asking for donations each time, but key information, or milestones reached in the campaign. This keeps the campaign in people’s minds.
When the deadline is approaching, often the best place to find new donors is in old ones. Push people who have already donated because they’ve already shown enough interest, wouldn’t they want to see it come to fruition? Personal networks were also identified as the key to getting campaigns over the line. For Clement, 70 of his 79 backers were personal or professional acquaintances.
The controlling idea in this article is that a successful Kick Starter campaign requires a passionate and proactive artist running the campaign as if its a full time job.
Elrod, C. 2013. ‘Every Kick Started a Success’ IGDA Perspectives Newsletter, viewed April 11, 2013
Corvos Elrod writes here about his experience with two highly successful Kick Started campaigns. One by his company Zakelro! as it launched a Kickstarter project for a tabletop storytelling platform called ‘Bhaloidam’. Although the most useful information is learnt from failure, Elrod learns a lot from success and documents it thoroughly.
Ultimately Elrod contends that platforms like Kick Starter are a disruption to old funding models, as all content is filtered through the gate keepers (funding bodies) to determine its market value. This could mean that some ideas may be off market and are set up to fail from the start.
However, Elrod feels that if used effectively Kick Starter provides aspiring makers with a marketing function; in fact he believes the primary function of Kick Starter is marketing, secondary being funding.
Provides market research-
Is anyone interested in this project?
Would someone pay for this?
What message do you want to send audience?
How will you make them feel good about contributing?
How to build up customer loyalty?
Elrod continues to describe good marketing strategies and methods of keeping Kick Starter campaigns alive without begging or spamming. Good start however we need to look harder at why Kick Starter (etc) campaigns fail, as much as we look at why they succeed.
Christy Dena, Going Indie for Meaningfulness and Money.
Dena, C 2010. Going Indie for Meaningfulness and Money, IGDA Perspectives Newsletter, viewed April 10, 2013, <http://www.igda.org/newsletter/2010/09/15/going-indie-for-meaningfulness-and-money/>
In this article Dena’s argument says just as much about new funding models as it does traditional funding models.
Dena discusses her plans to move away from reliance on traditional funding bodies to interdependence (funding her own work) and why she felt the need to change direction.
Dena first describes the restrictions and considerations of traditional funding models. The size of target audience and budget with heavily influence what you create. Often the larger the audience, the more people and money are involved. While this may be a measure of success, it also means a reduction in personal vision. The very essence of collaboration is compromise.
Dena also comments that the freedom of online access to viewers can be restrictive, but gives not much more on this. Could it be restrictive because the project could disappear amongst the sea of online content? Do they rely on more advanced publicity? Not sure, however I’ll definitely make sure to ask her in interviews.
She concludes by outlining her plan to fund her own projects from her other work- interdependence. To create without having to answer to a studio or client and using money from a variety of sources to fund personal projects.
If Dena has in fact acted on her desire to ‘go indie’, then in the three years that have since passed, I’m sure she would have some tales to tell of her adventure. Definitely worth seeking her out for an interview.
For Media Industries 1, this semester myself and friends Michael Lincoln and Nicole Lawr have selected Crowd Funding as our topic of exploration. We hope to become experts in pros, cons, dynamics and everything in between.
Stay tuned, folks.