Crowd-funding is a relatively recent form of generating revenue, employed by various actors to raise money for whatever it is that they are doing. A third party acts as liaison for the transfer of funds between producer and consumer, over a limited period of time. Once the concerned product is ready, it is made available to funders along with special perks added to sweeten the deal. This process works on the good faith in practice between the two groups. The producer will provide assurance on a good final product and the consumer will aid him in his creative efforts.
This could be a munificent initiative when it comes to subjects related to the humanities, like maybe building a well or a school somewhere in Zimbabwe. But where art is concerned, is this assurance sufficient justification for suspending one’s better judgment which, after all, can only be formed once one has had time to absorb and digest the product? Music history is littered with countless examples of bands who have taken a collective shit on their legacies, releasing albums that have been universally panned by a previously devoted fan base. Is the artist a machine with well-oiled parts, guaranteed to release a universally satisfying product? On what basis then, other than unreasoning bias, are fans willing to part with hard-earned money? This arrangement is tantamount to the fan saying,”I have no self-respect as a free-thinking human being. I cannot, nor do I want to, exercise my right to buy after hearing what it is you’re selling me. Here, take my money! Just take it! Come back if you need more, I’m a Rockefeller scion.”
It seems to me that crowd-funding in art/music appeals to a peculiar kind of mindset, gullible and easily suborned, and incapable of forming reasonably objective ideas from independent action. Crowd-funding is a plea to emotion, wherein the musician makes his clientele feel special and wanted, by implanting the notion inside the fan’s head that he is indispensable to the creative process and that by funding the venture, the fan is rebelling against the evil music industry for the greater good of mankind. By airing their penury for all to see, musicians induce a subliminal indebtedness in their fans to which the sheep just have to react by opening their purses. Idol worship never goes out of fashion and clever musicians prey on their fans’ foolishness.