Why the Mamet sisters Kickstarter failure is good for crowdfunding

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You’re a young woman in her twenties who has just taken up a musical instrument and you’re loving it. Playing the banjo has become a hobby. Your half-sister shares your love of music and you decide to team up as “an excuse to spend more time together.”

One day, you accidentally write a song and get carried away with yourselves leading to the grand plan of making a music video for it. So you talk it over and Kickstarter comes up in conversation and you are both, like, SUPER into the idea of asking people to pay for the video so you, like, totally do it. You figure $32,000 will cover the cost.

A few snags. The half-sisters in question, Zosia and Clara Mamet are gainfully-employed actresses on successful US TV series Girls and The Neighbours respectively, so they should be in a financial position to pay for their own video. Their dad is also David Mamet, who as a film director, screenwriter and playwright, presumably is pretty well-to-do himself.

This kind of campaign gives crowdfunding a bad name. The song is amateurish and the girls’ reasons are not compelling enough to make people want to donate. “We wrote [the song] in like a matter of hours. So to do an actual music video to the song would be really kind of a full circle thing,” Clara says in the campaign video. Oh great! Sign me up! What an incentive!

The sisters’ campaign comes across as a lazy answer to some hard work. The great thing about crowdfunding is that people vote with their wallets. The people have spoken and there was just $2,783 of the $32,000 raised by the end of the campaign.

A lot of people gave out about Zach Braff and David Fincher using Kickstarter to make their movies. While those directors at least have form in their field, the Mamet sisters just come across as indulgent and insincere. Their campaign was a privileged attempt to take advantage of their abilities to play the quirky girl in a TV sitcom. And it failed because it didn’t offer the funders or the world anything meaningful in rewards or the actual music video. Which just shows you that crowdfunding really can work.

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In this week’s Day & Night: Bigmouth Strikes Again…

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BIGMOUTH STRIKES AGAIN

Liam Gallagher tries to seduce Eamon Sweeney and give his scathing opinion on everybody else in rock ‘n’ roll.

PLUS…

HIGH HOPES

They’ve had chart failure, reality TV humiliation and terrible reviews, but Kodaline are optimistic for the future, says John Meagher.

OWEN GOALS

Take That’s pretty boy Mark Owen has beaten his demons and is out the other side, he tells Ed Power.

KT TUNSTALL

On the end of her marriage, the sudden death of her father and first hand experiences of music industry sexism.

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Boulevard of broken streams – Eircom Music Hub to close?

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Over two and a half years after it first launched, Eircom’s MusicHub service is rumoured to be closing at the end of June according to music industry site Hypebot. The music streaming and download site was primarily aimed offering Eircom customers a legitimate music service at a time when the ISP was being pressured to apply the “three strikes and you’re out” rule on their customers and block Bittorrent site The Pirate Bay.

At the time, there was no Spotify or Deezer. With Google’s recent launch of the Google Play Music All Access music streaming service and Apple’s continued iTunes dominance, not to mention their forthcoming iRadio music streaming platform (currently hampered by labels licencing talks), the music streaming game is now an overcrowded market. There simply aren’t enough users out their for all of these services to thrive. There are rumours that Spotify or Deezer could replace MusicHub as part of a special ISP-offering where a subscription is included in the monthly package.

As the most referenced music streaming service Spotify has just launched their own charts (http://charts.spotify.com) for each country. The Irish chart shows the top 50 songs in the last four weeks to date, and the top songs haven’t changed much with tracks from Daft Punk, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Bastille and Imagine Dragons dominating the top 5.

More interestingly, Spotify is also sharing the number of plays per week for each track in the top 50 which ranges from Daft Punk’s Get Lucky getting an average of 56,000 plays per week to the song at 50th position which hovers around 5,000 plays per week. The regular Irish chart figures are not so publicly available.

While those figures are for Ireland, it’s interesting to note that a number one in Sweden where Spotify started, has almost as many plays for top placing (1.2 million) when compared to United States (1.7 million). Sweden has a population of around 9 million as opposed to 314 million in the US and one third of the Swedish population use Spotify.

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