Last year more than 18,000 projects were successfully funded on Kickstarter, the largest crowdfunding website.
A total of $320m was contributed by 2.2m people, making possible creative projects including a documentary on fracking, a home aquaponics kit and a community centre for circus arts.
Games, a category which includes video, board and card games, received the most support, with $83m pledged to more than 900 projects.
Given their high development costs and passionate fans, video games are a good match for crowdfunding, particularly as established publishers churn out ever more sequels, leaving a long tail of unmet demand (see article). In all, 44% of the projects launched last year managed to raise the money they requested, but the success rate ranged from a threadbare 26% in fashion to a sprightly 74% in dance.
Seventeen projects raised more than $1m apiece in 2012. Technology projects received the highest average pledge by category, at $107 per backer. The biggest Kickstarter project to date is Pebble, a watch that connects to a smartphone via Bluetooth, which received almost $150 per backer to raise $10.3m in May.
(The first finished products are due to be delivered to backers next week.) According to Kickstarter, the total amount raised last year increased by more than 200% compared with 2011. Having opened itself to British-based projects in October, the site expects to see further growth in 2013.
Photo: The Economist
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