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Orgy Fall $93,000 Short of Crowdfunding Goal

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Orgy Band Photo 2013Over the past year or so, we’ve heard lots of great success stories about how bands like Protest the Hero, Chimaira, and The Absence have utilized crowdfunding to fund the recording of their music and tours to support that music. It’s a swell business model, but, alas, it’s not a business model which will work for every band.

On August 25, Orgy — yes, there is some version of Orgy still floating around there — launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise $100,000 (!!!) to “record, produce and distribute our new EP as well as film new music videos, tour the world and provide a solid framework to get [a] new [self-owned] label up and running.”

Well, the campaign ends one week from today, and as of this writing, they’ve raised just a little more than $7,ooo.

Wow. So close, dudes!

So why did Orgy fail so spectacularly? The answer isn’t as simple as “Orgy’s music sucks,” because taste is subjective and shitty bands find success all the time. And obviously it’s not the fact that vocalist Jay Gordon is the sole remaining member from the group’s heyday, either — after all, that didn’t hurt Chimaira’s campaign on the same platform any.

Really, I think there’s one simple very reason this campaign failed: a complete misunderstanding on Orgy’s part of why crowdfunding works and how to entice fans to participate.

By way of example, let’s compare and contrast Orgy’s campaign with that of Chimaira. Chimaira were looking to raise $30K; ultimately, they raised twice that amount. The sub-headline to their campaign was…

“We’d like to offer our fans a full multi-media experience that works alongside our new album. Tons of exclusive extras. Let’s take a trip…”

…and in their campaign mission statement, they explained to fans that:

“Some of you may be aware that our album ‘Crown of Phantoms’ will be hitting stores July 30 via eOne Music. Some of you may also know that there was once a time when listening to an album was more of an EXPERIENCE and less of an in-one-ear-out-the-other backing track to our daily lives. Combine that old school album enjoyment with some forward thinking ideas and we’re coming right out of the gates with the ability to experience this album like none other. For those of you that care to dig deeper into the elements that come together when creating a record, we will let you in on a journey you won’t soon forget.”

Note that the emphasis in this statement is on how the funds will be used to create unique art — an “experience,” a “journey,” etc. — for the benefit of the fans.

Compare to Orgy’s own fundraising attempts. The sub-headline to their campaign is…

“Multi-platinum selling band Orgy is back and ready to dominate once again! Will you support Orgy in their rise back to the top?”

…and their mission statement contains phrases such as:

“With your support and backing we can launch Orgy into a national and international name once again. We have more dedication and drive to make this a success than ever before.”

The emphasis here isn’t on artistic success or the benefits the campaign could have for fans; it’s on financial success and the benefits the campaign could have for the band. And this attitude is reflected in every aspect of their campaign, from the outlandish amount of money they were attempting to raise (which may have discouraged less-than-optimistic fans from chipping in, because why contribute to something you know will fail?) to the quality of the gifts being offered to contributors: for $500, a Chimaira fan could purchase the opportunity to perform live with the band, but an Orgy fan could only buy a music lesson from a member of the band. (Hot tip: guitar lessons with Chimaira’s Emil Werstler via Skype cost far less than $500.) Little surprise that three fans bought the $500 Chimaira package, but no one bought the $500 Orgy package.

For crowdfunding to work, bands need to accentuate the “crowd,” not the “funding.” They need to make the campaign feel all-inclusive, because, from the point of view of a fan, that’s literally the entire appeal of crowdfunding: they get to be a PART of something they love. All Orgy did was beg the masses to make them rockstars again. Little wonder nobody gave a shit.

[via The PRP]

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