Ever since this came across my desk I knew it was going to be an interesting story to follow. Protest The Hero set out to get enough money to fund an album cycle front to back by asking their fans to donate on Indiegogo.com. The post I initially posted was titled, “Is Protest The Hero Asking Too Much?” I concluded the post by saying, “no,” and I was right.
Checking in on how the funding was going, I found that not only have Protest The Hero met their goal of $125k, they absolutely obliterated it. At the time of writing this sentence, they are up to $309,919. With 36 hours to, I assume they’ll hit somewhere around $315k-$320k when it’s all said and done.
This funding is important for a number of reasons. First, this shows that a band with mid-level success doesn’t need to give up the rights to their music in order to fund a record. If you have enough of a following already, there is a good probability that you can ask your fans to help make the record and they will respond. This might not work on such a grand scale for lesser-known bands, but I have seen some successful crowd-funded projects come to life here in New York City for bands known barely beyond the local scene.
This whole thing begs the question, “is this the new model for the music industry?” I feel like the answer once again is, “no.” Was this particular outreach successful? Absolutely, and it will be in the future as well. But when it comes to things like artist development, investing in bands you’ve never heard of, or taking chances on projects you believe in when no one else in the world has heard of them, this model doesn’t even come into play.
I feel the crowd-funded thing is a really good way to gauge your success as a band, but it only works once you have people who believe in you. Protest The Hero has a lot of believers. It’s an awesome testament to their hard work and I love seeing that fans are out there supporting the bands that they love. I’m going to continue to follow the project because I’m interested to see the decisions that get made once the ball starts rolling. It’ll be an experiment- PR, Management, Tours… Let’s see what a band on their own can actually do when they get some real money to work with.