Published Aug 31, 2009As we told you back in June, Polyvinyl Records recently used the pledges-for-arts service Kickstarter to unload extra stock that the label feared would have to be destroyed due to lack of storage space.
The website allows artists to accept pledges from supporters in exchange for products or services. In the case of Polyvinyl, the Illinois-based home to Of Montreal, Headlights and Owen, fans could pledge a certain amount of money for bulk amounts of the label's old stock. And it worked wonders.
The label originally hoped to make around $1,000 off the long-forgotten CDs and DVDs, but instead it has found the pledges for the label's old inventory surpassing the $15,000 mark, according to the New York Times [via The Daily Swarm].
"We set the goal modestly in retrospect, since everything we'd done in the past was a very slow, methodical process to reduce overstock. And we assumed this would follow the same path," Polyvinyl owner Matt Lunsford told the Times. "But this took off in a way that none of the other methods have done in the past."
It's a model that has other artists and record labels thinking hard. Allison Weiss is a singer-songwriter from Athens, GA who was hoping to raise $2,000 to record her new EP, which she would then give out with some bonus materials and handmade packaging, to her fans making pledges. As of press time, she was almost at the $8,000 mark.
Meanwhile, Polyvinyl structured its reward packages for donors like a blowout sale of CDs and DVDs, giving a DVD to anyone who pledged $5, and five CDs and a DVD to anyone who chipped in $15 or more. Since then, Polyvinyl has been using the service to test-market potential new releases.
"[Kickstarter] is the first thing on our mind as a label to try and figure out exactly what people are interested in buying," Lunsford said.