Pledge Pioneers: How Marillion invented crowdfunding
In 2000, Marillion were the first band to use crowdfunding… but how did the idea come about?
The concept of fans pledging money online to fund an artist’s album is now commonplace, but Marillion pioneered the idea by persuading their following to pay months in advance for Anoraknophobia. It’s a business model they’ve regularly returned to in the intervening years, with fans being rewarded for that loyalty by having their names printed in the credits of expansive limited editions. In a surprising business move, for new album FEAR they’ve decided against arranging the advance ordering of the album themselves and have instead joined up with PledgeMusic.
Part of the reason for that change is that they’re victims of their own success. The large amount of orders have become difficult for the staff at Racket to deal with, especially when the unavoidable emails flood in due to a fulfilment company making errors and losing orders.