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Why Crowdfunding Isn't Fueling China's Indie Music Revolution... Yet!
China's biggest indie music label Modernsky announced a cooperation with Dreamore to better bridge music and crowdfunding
By Ailun Zhang
(more articles from this author)
2013-08-06
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Indie folk singer Song Dongye

The world's first crowdfunding website Kickstarter, an American-based private for-profit company that provides tools to raise funds for creative projects via crowdfunding, was founded in 2009. Two years later, Kickstarter's Chinese homologue Demohour was launched, quickly becoming China's biggest crowdfunding website.

Since Demohour's launch, similar websites in China have popped up such as Dreamore, a site enable its users to share their ideas, Musikid, a crowdfunding website focus on music and Tmeng that supports indie movies.

In July, China's biggest indie music label Modernsky announced a cooperation with Dreamore to better bridge music and crowdfunding. Modernsky will incorporate Dreamore's crowdfunding system into the production, promotion and distribution of its indie roster, while Dreamore will support the label's various crowdfunding projects.

Their first upcoming project will focus on indie folk singer Song Dongye who became well-known in 2013 for his super hit internet song "Ms.Dong". Before the release of his new album "The North of Anhe Bridge", Mordensky is going to organize a national tour in cooperation with Dreamore.

Hotpot Music signed skate punk band Larry's Pizza just put their debut album project on Demohour for the crowdfunding. The band plan to fly to Tokyo to record their debut album in two week. The producer will be KICK, the head of Kick Rock MUSIC, a well known Japanese punk label. After recording, this album will be released in 2014's Spring, followed by a tour.

Despite these examples, crowdfunding is still a generally new trend for Chinese musicians. In contrast to the numerous successful music projects on Kickstarter, there is still little to show on Chinese crowdfunding platforms like Demohour and Dreamore.

According famous music critic Er Dong, there are two factors most hampering successful music crowdfunding projects in China. The first is the difficulty in proving the project's quality to potential funders. In most cases, projects display a very rudimentary profile, which may not be very persuasive for users to pull out their wallets. Secondly, the funding threshold most projects set are too high. In fact, lower threshold appear to lead to more users and sponsors.

At present, crowdfunding in China is still having a hard time finding its niche. It faces serious difficulties unique to China including:
1. The lack of familiarity with crowdfunding as compared to their American counterparts;
2. Concerns regarding the legality and legitimacy of crowdfunding, especially as there have been some major illegal fundraising cases in China, the most infamous perhaps being China's Red Cross;
3. The lack of a complete intellectual property law structure.


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