The Roaring Crowdfund

In this five-episode podcast from Berklee Online, the online school of Berklee College of Music, we examine four very different musical acts, and track their progress across various crowdfunding platforms, including Kickstarter, PledgeMusic, and Indiegogo. We look at all of the pertinent points of launching a successful crowdfunding campaign, and touch upon the history and the future of online music crowdfunding, through interviews with famous musicians, platform heads, and teachers from Berklee Online’s esteemed Music Business department.

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Roaring Crowdfund Episode 1 Intro

Episode 1: The History of Online Music Crowdfunding

Ride shotgun through the history of crowdfunding with those who made that history, including Mark Kelly from Marillion, Ted Leo, Molly Neuman from Kickstarter, Jayce Varden from PledgeMusic, Brian Camelio from ArtistShare, John Trigonis from Indiegogo, and more! In Episode 1 we'll get into the controversial who did what when of online music crowdfunding, and introduce you to our four featured artists.

Episode 2: Intro Videos —Tell Your Story, Sell Your Music

Episode 2: Tell Your Story Online, Sell Your Music Online

Meet the artists as they kick off their crowdfunding campaigns, tell their stories, sell their music, and get ready for their close-ups in their intro videos. In Episode 2 we'll also get into why they think they deserve your money and why they chose the platforms they did: Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or PledgeMusic.

Episode 3: Perks, Rewards, Support, and Skydiving in Diapers

Episode 3: Perks, Rewards, Support, and Skydiving in Diapers

What will you offer to make your crowdfunding campaign successful? A vial of your own blood? A skydiving excursion in diapers? A chance for your fans to sign your nude body? Answer: As you'll see from the artists we're following, you'll do whatever gets your fans to fund your Kickstarter, PledgeMusic, or Indiegogo campaign! In Episode 3, it's all about the perks. 

Episode 4: DIY (or with a Group of Hip-Hop Power Rangers)

Episode 4: DIY (or Do It with a Posse of Power Rangers)

Who on this podcast is going it alone? Who has a little help from their friends? In Episode 4, the four artists we're profiling get closer to the ends of their campaigns, and reveal who is totally Do-It-Yourself, who works with managers, who works with consultants, who works with publicists, and who works with a hip-hop version of the Power Rangers.

Episode 5: The Future of Online Music Crowdfunding

A chip inside your head that charges your credit card every time you think of a song? A return to serfdom in a capitalist society? A fun and free-for-all approach where communities join together to make music? What is the future of online crowdfunding for music? We answer that in Episode 5, and—perhaps more importantly—we also answer whether or not our artists succeeded with their campaigns.

Meet the Artists

Emily Keener

Emily Keener

Emily is a singer-songwriter from Cleveland who recently made it to the top 12 on The Voice. Her recent Kickstarter campaign was to raise funds for her fourth album.

Emily Keener
Payten & Myztroh

Stono Echo

This Jacksonville-based hip-hop duo takes their name from the 1739 Stono Rebellion. Paten Locke (also known for his work under the Dillon & Paten Locke moniker) produces and DJs, and Jay Myztroh sings, raps, and plays multiple instruments. Stono Echo’s recent Indiegogo campaign was to raise money for their debut album.

Stono Echo
Johnny Chops

Johnny Chops

Johnny Chops is best known for his work as bassist for the Randy Rogers Band. His recent PledgeMusic campaign was to raise funds for the sophomore album by his side project, Johnny Chops & the Razors.

Johnny Chops

Dutch ReBelle

Boston Magazine named Dutch ReBelle Best Music Artist in 2018. She has received multiple Boston Music Awards since her 2012 debut. Her recent Kickstarter campaign was to raise money for her fourth full-length album.

Dutch Rebelle

Meet the Experts

  • Justice Born

    Justice Born

    Justice is a founder, organizer, and promoter for the Wreck Shop Movement, a Massachusetts-based hip-hop promotions company.

  • Luiz Augusto Buff de Souza e Silva

    Luiz Augusto Buff de Souza e Silva

    Luiz teaches Music Business Finance for Entrepreneurs as part of the Berklee Online master’s program.

  • Brian Camelio

    Brian Camelio

    In 2001, Brian founded ArtistShare, a company widely recognized as the first online fan-funding platform for artists. The company functions more like a label than the crowdfunding sites it inspired, and ArtistShare artists have received 30 Grammy nominations, and 10 wins.

  • Nate DeLong

    Nate DeLong

    Nate is one of the founders of Hit Squad, a pro-bono marketing group within the Boston branch of Sapient Razorfish. He’s since started his own marketing firm, Operator, which specializes in crowdfunding. He’s also a Heavyweight Muay Thai World Champion.

  • Mike Doughty

    Mike Doughty

    Mike began his career in music as the leader of the band Soul Coughing, which he details in his 2012 book, The Book of Drugs. In the second phase of his musical career he’s used crowdfunding platforms like PledgeMusic, Drip, and Patreon to great effect.

  • Gift of Gab

    Gift of Gab

    Gab has been rapping professionally since the early ’90s, with Blackalicious. He has released several solo albums as well, and has been releasing his music lately through the support of his subscribers on Patreon.

  • Meredith Graves

    Meredith Graves

    Meredith is the Director of Music for Kickstarter. She rose to prominence in the music industry as singer for Perfect Pussy, and later as a host on MTV. She also runs a music and publishing company called Honor Press.

  • Pat Healy

    Pat Healy

    Pat is Senior Editor and Writer for Berklee Online, where he also hosts the Music Is My Life podcast. He also writes for the Disgraceland podcast, and has written for Pitchfork, Paste, and several other music sites.

  • Jim Horan

    Jim Horan

    Jim teaches Artist Management in the Music Business, part of Berklee Online’s master’s program. He began his career at Rounder Records, where he rose to become Vice President and General Manager. He has managed artists including Della Mae and Marissa Nadler.

  • Bruce Houghton

    Bruce Houghton

    Bruce is the founder and President of the booking agency, Skyline Music, and the founder and Editor of music industry and music tech sites and He also teaches Music Business 101 and Music Marketing 101 for Berklee Online.

  • John Kellogg

    John P. Kellogg Esq.

    John is an entertainment attorney and Program Director for Berklee Online’s Music Business master’s program, for which he authored the Music Business Revenue Streams course. He’s a former Chair of the Music Business department at Berklee and a former vocalist for Cameo.

  • Mark Kelly

    Mark Kelly

    Mark Kelly has played keyboard for the band Marillion since 1981. He is generally credited with being the first musician to tap into online crowdfunding for music in 1997.

  • Mike King

    Mike King

    Mike has authored several courses, including The Business of Music Marketing, part of Berklee Online’s master’s program. Before Berklee, he was Marketing/Product Manager at Rykodisc.

  • Ted Leo

    Ted Leo

    Ted is a longtime indie rock staple. He’s released albums on Ace Fu, Lookout!, Touch & Go, Gern Blandsten, Matador, and more. His first experience with crowdfunding was his Kickstarter campaign for his 2017 album, The Hanged Man.

  • Bremner Morris

    Bremner Morris

    Bremner is the Head of Creator Partnerships, Success, and Care teams at Patreon. Before joining Patreon, he led Business Development, Partnerships, and Operations at AppDirect.

  • Molly Neuman

    Molly Neuman

    At the time she recorded her interviews for The Roaring Crowdfund, Molly was Head of Music for Kickstarter. She’s now Head of Business Development for Songtrust. Her industry experience began with Bratmobile and has included work with eMusic, Lookout! Records, and the American Association of Independent Music.

  • Joel Nixon

    Joel Nixon

    Joel is a Toronto-based animator. He designed the cover for Run the Jewels’ remix album, Meow the Jewels.

  • Brian Rosenworcel

    Brian Rosenworcel

    Brian is the drummer for Guster, a band whose 2015 album, Evermotion, was released with the assistance of a pre-order campaign on PledgeMusic that Brian says contained "a lot of good randomness." Guster’s eighth album is due out soon.

  • John Trigonis

    John T. Trigonis

    John is the author of the book Crowdfunding for Filmmakers: The Way to a Successful Film Campaign, and has been Indiegogo’s Film & Creative Campaign Strategist for the past five years. Since participating in The Roaring Crowdfund, he has left Indiegogo and is now a private consultant, campaign manager, and educator, all while working on his own various writings for film, TV, and the printed page.

  • Jayce Varden

    Jayce Varden

    Jayce co-founded PledgeMusic with Benji Rogers in 2009.

  • Angela Webber

    Laser Malena-Webber

    Laser founded one of only 20 consulting companies officially endorsed by Kickstarter. They’re also a guitarist and singer for the Doubleclicks, a nationally/internationally touring band with five independent albums, several viral music videos, and many Patreon and Kickstarter campaigns.

Additional Credits

Audio Engineering, Editing, and Mastering Joel Thibodeau at Spake

Assistant Audio Editor Andrew Walls

Additional Mastering and Music Composition Gabriel Ryfer Cohen

Art Cristina Daura

Web Timothy Scholl, Steve Zimmerman, Mark Thomas

Assistant Director Marty Johnson

Voiceover Talent Andrea Taylor

Editorial Support Debbie Cavalier, Mike King, Emily McInerney, Greg Faucher

Special Thanks Zencastr, Elias Music & Sound Library,

For Media Inquiries Margot Edwards or Colette Greenstein