How Kickstarter Has Changed the Creative Industries


Since 2009, Kickstarter has become a household name due to the enormous amounts of money it has been able to raise for a wide variety of industries. We often think of technology with this platform, but Kickstarter has revolutionized the creative industries. With $1.5 billion raised, Kickstarter now raises more money every year for artistic and creative projects than the National Endowment for the Arts does.

Why have artists and the creative entrepreneurs found so much success on Kickstarter? It’s because the crowd gets to comment on what they believe is great artwork instead of just the art critics. Consumers drive demand and this helps the crowd fund projects that may not be critically acclaimed, but still highly desired.

Innovative Art Has the Greatest Influence on the Crowd

Ethan Mollick wanted to know more about how art critics and the crowd saw artistic crowdfunding campaigns. What he discovered was two very remarkable things. First: when critics and the crowd were both asked to judge the quality and outcome of a project, the two groups saw art in very much the same way. Both groups saw the commercial viability of a project in a similar light.

Where the two groups diverged was in the viability of what would be considered innovative artwork projects. Here the two groups were clearly divided in what projects had viability. When looking at the crowd, the projects that offered the most variance tended to be seen in the most positive way. The projects that offered more consistency and vision were the ones that had a more favorable outcome to the critics.

Fundraising for Art Is a Form of Art

Why are artistic projects generally so successful on crowdfunding platforms? It’s because fundraising is a form of art as well. It takes a certain level of creativity to plan, coordinate, and implement a crowdfunding campaign. The same skill set that is used to create something amazing for sale is used to market those creations. Artists are naturally inclined to make a better pitch to the crowd.

Yet there does need to be something present: a commitment to the cause. There must be a desire in place to achieve funding goals. Crowdfunding can help to fund projects that foundations would typically find too small or unattractive and that is why there are billions of dollars of opportunity still waiting to be claimed by the creative industries right now.