SXSW: Amanda Palmer Talks Crowd-Sourcing Backlash, the Spoils of Social Media

From The Hollywood Reporter:

Amanda Palmer was not only the subject of a South By Southwest panel — title: “The Anatomy of Amanda Fucking Palmer: An Inside Look” — she also moderated the discussion of the crowd-sourced, fan-integrated business model she’s been perfecting over the past few years. Palmer was joined by Cooking Vinyl’s Martin Goldschmidt, Kickstarter’s Kendel Ratley, Topspin’s Nicole St. Jean, and Girlie Action’s Vickie Starr and Eric Sussman to talk about the impact and success of her recent Kickstarter campaign, which raised $1,192,793 from 24,883 fans last May.

When asked by a fan what she would do differently in light of the Kickstarter backlash, Palmer said she felt the criticism wasn’t actually about her raising money to make an album. “After I publicly made a lot of money, musicians unions and some musician people were very upset that I would continue to ask my fans to come do stuff for free because I was rich,” Palmer responded. “I don’t think that was about the Kickstarter. I think that was about my image. [My] TED talk doesn’t totally address it but those are bigger ethical questions about when I appeared all of a sudden to have a lot of money — which was ironic because I didn’t — about how work is valued. And you need to let the artist make those decisions. The musicians get to make those decisions.”

Artists need to find what works for them and the culture around, she noted. “I would personally be kind of disappointed if PJ Harvey started tweeting all the time,” Palmer said. “I’d be like, ‘Oh, it’s just so not PJ Harvey.’ My big concern, and it’s a legitimate concern, people bring it up and I don’t know the answer, in the age of the social artist and crowd-funding, what about PJ? Is she going to be OK if she’s not going to be able to robustly DIY it? Will she have the right team around her? Is it going to be a harder future for the artists who aren’t able to roll up their sleeves and do all this stuff that me and all my hyper-social friends are doing successfully? I don’t know.”

Continue reading the rest of the story on The Hollywood Reporter