Amanda Palmer: $1.2M Kickstarter “Was Actually A Loss Leader”

There’s a new Amanda Palmer feature at Forbes in which she discusses her recent crowdfunding exploits at Patreon, Spotify, Taylor Swift, and much more. But the most interesting (read: outrageous) part of the story is when Palmer reiterates that she “pretty much broke even” on her much-criticized $1.2 million Kickstarter and characterizes it as a “loss leader,” i.e. the ultra-cheap CDs and DVDs Best Buy sells to get you in the door and sell you appliances: “The dirty secret of my Kickstarter is that it was actually a loss leader leading to Patreon.” Palmer goes on to express outrage that “haters” wonder how she could have possibly blown through a million dollars, so I guess consider me a hater. She also thinks the world’s biggest pop stars should try her methods:

There’s no telling what kind of numbers a Lady Gaga or a Taylor Swift could do if they decided to break away from the system and work directly with the fan base that they’ve amassed. You might see Taylor Swift getting paid $6 million a track. More power to her if she can pull in that kind of dough. I think the question is does Taylor Swift want to run her business transparently and does Taylor Swift want to run her own business period?

And she shared her own take on Spotify — because every musician has a take on Spotify — and threw some slight shade at Prince:

Spotify is useful to me in so far as my fans happily use it. Some people may discover me there. I’m never going to make much more money. I’ll probably make enough money on Spotify to buy me a sandwich. I’m not going to make any money from my streams on YouTube either, but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to pull a Prince and pull all of my content off YouTube. That would be shooting myself in the foot because that’s where a lot of people are getting to know me and discovering me. Through that discovery they may become paying customers via Patreon. In the best case scenario you can look at Spotify as unpaid advertising.

Read the full interview here.