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Crowd Funding For Musicians Isn’t The Future; It’s The Present

By now, everyone’s heard of Kickstarter, the website that lets people with an idea or project ask other people to contribute toward realizing it. It’s called crowd funding, and this summer’s big success story was musician Amanda Palmer. She raised more than $1 million to produce her new album. But crowd funding doesn’t work for every musician every time.

Internet-based crowd funding works sort of like a bake sale. You pay a little bit more than that cupcake’s market value, and when your friends ask where you got it, you tell them the gym needs a new roof and the 11th grade is raising money to fix it. Album sales are less than half what they were 10 years ago. Your local musician needs a new roof.

The piece includes insight from 2010 Science Fellow Sinan Aral, whose specialty is influence and susceptibility (or what we call social contagion) in social networks.

"Typically in talks I ask people to raise their hand if they follow Ashton Kutcher on Twitter or know who Ashton Kutcher is," Aral says. "Everyone raises their hand. I have them put their hands down and then I ask, ‘Who in the room has ever done anything Ashton Kutcher asked them to do?’ And typically one sheepish person will raise their hand."

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    Just saw Amanda Palmer last night. Amazing lady.
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    http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/fightingwolves I heard about this album from a fresh, talented band and I paid 3x...
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