“IndieGoGo My Freedom and Fund The World’s 1st Fan Label”
New artists on major labels sometimes get stuck in a situation where the label won’t release their album for whatever reason. That’s where Neon Hitch seems to have landed, based on her Wikipedia page, and it’s a tough place to be. Of course, having a major put out your album and then not support it may actually be worse.
In any case, Neon Hitch is moving forward with an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to take her power back in cahoots with her fans.
#WeRNeon: Crowdfunding A Fan Label
She’s describing #WeRNeon as the “1st fan label”. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. I tend to have mixed feelings about such claims because being first isn’t the important part of what she’s doing. It’s that she’s going direct to fans to create what she calls a “Fan Label.” Here’s her rationale and explanation from her crowdfunding campaign:
“It’s become very clear to me that my fans love my music more than any record label executive or radio DJ ever will. That’s because my music is FOR them. So for that reason I have decided to put my music out through a new kind of record label that run for and by the fans. I call it The Fan Label and my specific Fan Label is called #WeRNeon.”
“Record Labels are businesses so they are all about money. So that’s why a new take on a record label has to figure out a revolutionary way to allocate the money that a traditional label dealt with. Here’s our plan: the money that used to get spent on well paid executives and their staff to put out my music through a major record label will now flow into the hands of my fans who operate our Fan Label.”
“My art department? Fans. My A&R’s? Fans. My executives? Fans. My collaborators? Fans. My marketing geniuses? Fans. My radio promo team? Fans. My video producers? Fans. My photographers? Fans. I think you get the picture. Anything a record label can do … my fans can do it betta!!!”
Despite my reservations, if Fan Label takes off more widely as a term for this kind of thing, she could be tied to the term by journalists for a long time. So that actually makes it reasonable to push that angle as well.
And she’s got some enthusiastic fans as you’ll see from the pitch video above or from a wider range of fan video examples on her Indiegogo page.
So far it’s working with 52 days to go and $20,791 raised towards her $50,000 goal. It is a flexible funding campaign. While some campaigns benefit from all-or-nothing approaches and last minute, up-to-the-wire stunts, it’s clear Neon Hitch is going to do this anyway so she can’t resort to pleas for funding or it’s not going to happen. And any other plea for an all-or-nothing campaign undermines the psychological edge such a campaign is believed to have.
A Nicely Integrated Campaign Tied Into Her Tour
There’s a lot here that I could discuss but I think this is a beautiful project and I love the way her Yard Sale video and tour tie-in. If you look at the landing page for The Yard Sale Tour, you may recognize that the parody items for sale are presented visually like a bunch of crowdfunding rewards.
If you watch the whole pitch video, you’ll discover she refers to her crowdfunding campaign as a yard sale when she starts describing pledge rewards.
Everything she and her team are doing, and there’s got to be a very solid team working on this, are striking me so far as beautifully done.
One last word of warning: Some people will look at this and go, “yeah, she can do that cause she got all that marketing on Warner.” And it’s true. That helped a lot. But it used to be that artists in her position would gradually fall apart if they couldn’t find a gatekeeper to be their champion. So that’s worth recognizing and even celebrating, if not for Neon Hitch, for the power of fan funding.
More importantly for you, if you’re an unknown artist considering crowdfunding and you can’t learn anything from this campaign, then you need to dig deeper and think harder.