An opinion piece, written by…us!
We’ve been asked a lot this week what we think of the Pledge Music campaign by the band for the new album. We’re pretty highly flattered that anyone cares what we think about anything so we thought we’d take a second to talk about it here and get it out into the open.
And the fact is, we love it. We’re behind it 1000%.
Look, it’s probably pretty obvious that we rather like the Trews around here, and if it isn’t, we’ll take a moment to let you poke around a bit to figure that out.
For everyone else, here’s some nice intermission music with catchy graphics for you to enjoy.
Are we all back? Good, let’s continue.
We love the idea behind it, we love the opportunities it would afford the band and we love the incentives for us fans. We love the chance to be directly involved in something the band is doing instead of waiting for it to happen.
But we understand that some are really on the fence about it, and others just don’t like anything about it and can’t understand how anyone does. And we get that.
The reality is, crowd funding is for the hardcore fan bases of artists, musicians, authors, movie makers, etc. It’s not for John Q Public.
John Q and his girlfriend Mary Sue love music, sure, but they like it generally – they don’t really have favourite bands or musicians, they just like to have music to listen to when they want. Sometimes they like a wide variety of stuff and sometimes they like only one genre. For them, iTunes is perfect because they can get that wide variety without having to make too much effort (assuming iTunes is running okay on their device of choice).
Crowd funding isn’t for them.
It’s for the fan bases that have already determined that person or those people are their favourites; it’s for the folks that have already decided they’ll be buying the next thing released by that band or that author or that actor. They’ve committed their support already. In that case, it really doesn’t matter if they pay the money now or later, they want that product; they were going to buy it anyway, what’s the difference between paying for it now or waiting? Nothing. (Except maybe the chance to get a signed thing or a Skype session or a house concert.)
When you buy a CD that’s already been recorded and released? You’re paying for the same costs that are paid for through a crowd funding campaign. The money you spend on a digital download or physical product after it’s been released still goes to all the same expenses associated with it – demoing, recording, production, artwork, manufacturing, distribution, promotion, staff overhead, etc. (with some of it eventually going to the artist at some point down the line – at least, that’s the theory). You’re just giving the money for it AFTER it’s done instead of before.
That’s the only difference. Really. Think about it that way for a second.
A recent discussion with another fan brought forth this beautiful idea, too: “I donate to organizations that I believe in – and ‘the arts’ are very important, so I just look at it as contributing to this industry in our country.” If you contribute ahead of time and the campaign meets its goal, there’s a few jobs created right there that might not have been if the band or artist had to try and find a label that would work with them but then had no luck. Think of it as job creation for a studio, a producer, a design company, a manufacturing company, and a promotions company. In today’s economy? That doesn’t suck either.
Look, we aren’t telling you how to spend your money; that’s the last thing we want to do. And we aren’t judging you for how you choose to see this either, although we hope we’ve given you some food for thought.
But no one is forcing you to spend your money on this, period. No one’s holding a gun to your head and saying, “Pledge to this campaign or else!” Equally as important, no one’s telling you that if you DON’T pledge, you’re anything less than an acceptable human being – or any less of a huge fan of this band. You aren’t comfortable with the idea? Don’t do it. You don’t have the cash? Don’t feel bad; lots of people don’t.
The bottom line is this: pledge money if you want; it’s your money, don’t let anyone tell you any different or make you feel bad about spending it the way you chhose – and you enjoy the crap out of your rewards. If you aren’t interested, leave people alone about their choice to do so; you have no right to tell someone else how to spend their money. If you’re trying to figure out what’s healthiest for you to do, remember that’s exactly it – what’s healthiest for you; you’re the one that has to live with the consequences of your actions, no one else.
The Trews Fans Network backs your play 1000%, no matter what you decide (and as long as you’re kind to those that decide differently from you), just like we’re 1000% behind the band’s decision to do this.
But, uh, if you’re looking for a +1 for your VIP experience or, you know, your lifetime guestlist, don’t forget about us – hey! Where’re you going? Come back!!