After a crowdfunding site made big promises to filmmaker Stuart Acher, then reneged on those promises, he was left with two days until his film #Stuck would launch with no crowdfunding in sight. So, he and his partners at FilmBreak built one from scratch.
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FilmBreak believes that it is simply too expensive to use existing platforms and the there’s not enough value exchange. Most platforms charge a 7 to 12% fee to host a crowdfunding campaign but offer little to no marketing help or discoverability. While it is arguable that these platforms do not help you enough, FilmBreak is aiming to reduce costs and increase marketing and distribution help, at least for filmmakers.
Crowdfunding, as many Forbes articles point out, is a wildly successful and perhaps world-changing phenomenon. Here are a few stats from CrowdSourcing.org 2013 report as well as the fees from the big players directly.
- There were 452 active crowdfunding platforms globally (as of April 2012)
- An estimated 1 million campaign were funded in 2012
- Platforms raised $2.7B in 2012, an 81% increase from 2011
- Industry expected to grow to $5.1B in 2013
Kickstarter fee for successful projects is 5%, Amazon fee is 3-5% on top of that. IndieGoGo gives you two options: Flexible funding is 9% if goal is not reached, 4% if goal is reached, then 3% for credit card processing. Or, you can choose Fixed funding where you, as the creator set the goal. You will only get funds if the goal is reached: 4% if goal is reached, 3% for credit card. FundAnything: offers the same deal as IndieGoGo. CrowdTilt has a 2.5% fee if the goal is reached plus 2.5$ for credit card processing.
With crowdsourcing’s rapid growth, some of these platforms are choosing to specialize in different niche markets. Some are building out the community as a way to promise you greater access to individuals who might not otherwise see your project. Kickstarter is clearly the poster child, the one everyone mentions, when crowdfunding is discussed.
If you’re looking for some of the specialty platforms – Inc has a short post on three categories: Scientific research, charity, and hyper-local. TheStreet reviewed 20 niche crowdfunding sites in late 2012. Most are still around.
As a final note on FilmBreak’s approach, they did something that is noteworthy and very logical. They made sure to focus on the customer conversation – by adding live chat. I believe this is one of the first crowdsource solutions to offer live chat support, which is a brilliant idea – tune in completely to your customer when they are most interested and ready to fund your campaign.
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