She’s in the last seven hours of her Kickstarter. She’s got a warchest to make and promote her CD, to film videos, to go on tour, to print her art book. And just importantly, she’s changed things: her phone is ringing off the hook with calls from The Economist, Spin, The Wall Street Journal, Music Week, The New York Times and so on, all asking her what this means for the future of music distribution.
I’ve watched how hard she’s worked to put this together over the last four years, experimenting, doing trial runs on things, putting a team together that would be able to deliver everything she wanted.
About six months ago we wound up at dinner with Amanda’s touring people in Melbourne, and at the dinner was an old school music manager — he’s been managing supergroups for forty years. And he asked Amanda what label she was on. When she said she’d left her label and wasn’t ever planning to go back, I expected him to say something dismissive, and instead he said “Good!” and started telling us about how he was working to get his various acts off their record labels and out selling their music directly to the public.
I (obviously, but it needs saying) don’t think it’s going to be like this for everyone. You need a fanbase to make it happen, and you have to build the fans before they will support you. But I do think it changes things. Because it’s much more than she would ever have received from a record label to record or promote her music, and everyone who is supporting her is getting something in return, down to a $1 download of the finished album.
I don’t believe that in five years time every album will be Kickstartered (the signal to noise level on Kickstarter alone would be impossible to manage). But we’re entering a time in which everything changes. And I think that’s a good thing.
And like she says: We did it. Not her. We are the media.