Embroiled In Crypto Controversy, Kickstarter Touts Huge Year For Comics Projects – Forbes


The Kickstarter crowdfunding logo is displayed on the screen of an Apple Inc. iPhone 6 in this … [+] arranged photograph taken in London, U.K., on Friday, May, 15, 2015. Facebook Inc. reached a deal with New York Times Co. and eight other media outlets to post stories directly to the social network’s mobile news feeds, as publishers strive for new ways to expand their reach. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

© 2015 Bloomberg Finance LP

For the crowdfunding giant Kickstarter, which has become the crucial hub for comics self-publishing over the last decade, a triumphal 2021 has given way to a winter of discontent following last week’s announcement that the public benefit company was incorporating blockchain technology into its platform, a move which threatened to overshadow the remarkable results it has delivered for creators and fans.

The Best of Times. First the good news. In an exclusive interview, Kickstarter Director of Publishing and Comics Outreach Oriana Leckert announced the company just posted its third “best year ever” in a row, topping a strong 2020 with an even stronger performance year-to-date in 2021. “2021 has already raised more money, had more [comics and publishing] projects and a higher success rate, so by every metric, we’re killing it,” said Leckert.

In 2020, comics and publishing creators launched 2379 projects, of which 1758 were funded, for a 74% success rate. In 2021, those numbers were 2825 projects (2071 successful), for a 77% overall success rate, tops among categories on the platform. Projects that had at least 25 backers – Kickstarter’s informal metric for identifying a serious effort to reach an audience beyond friends and family – succeeded a remarkable 86% of the time.

“That’s just bananas, an insane metric,” said Leckert, who believes that it demonstrates how well comic creators have connected to their community and are serving them with unique projects that might fall outside the reach of traditional publishers.

Translated into dollars, 2021 saw funders raise more than $30 million so far from 207,000 backers, compared to $26 million from 214,000 backers in 2020, a year that saw more people supporting independent projects due to the unique conditions of the pandemic and lockdown. Despite the 2020 surge in backers, 2021 was actually more efficient in terms of dollars raised. Considering the total size of the comics publishing industry in the United States was just over $1.2 billion according to estimates from ICv2/Comichron, Kickstarter-backed independent projects represent a market share of about 2.5%, which would place it in the lower ranks of the top 10 if Kickstarter were a commercial publisher.

Finally, Leckert announced that Kickstarter had passed one million total backers of comics projects since the company’s 2009 launch. That is unsurprising given the central role that crowdfunding now occupies in the independent creator ecosystem (and, increasingly, in the formal publishing industry as well), but quite a journey since the early days when Kickstarting a project was viewed as a small step up from …….

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/robsalkowitz/2021/12/14/embroiled-in-crypto-controversy-kickstarter-touts-huge-year-for-comics-projects/

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