The Kickstarter Blog

2011: The Stats

2011 was a year of milestones. In April we celebrated our second birthday by announcing $50 million in pledges. In July we reached 10,000 successfully funded projects. And in October we reached $100 million in pledges and had our one millionth backer. It was an eventful year.

Let’s look at some statistics for 2011:

  • Launched Projects: 27,086
  • Successful Projects: 11,836
  • Dollars Pledged: $99,344,382
  • Rewards Selected: 1,150,461
  • Total Visitors: 30,590,342
  • Project Success Rate: 46%

Here’s 2010:

  • Launched Projects: 11,130
  • Successful Projects: 3,910
  • Dollars Pledged: $27,638,318
  • Rewards Selected: 322,526
  • Total Visitors: 8,294,183
  • Project Success Rate: 43%

Total pledges were just shy of $100 million in 2011. More than one million rewards were selected, nearly quadruple the year before. Approximately 1,000 projects were successfully funded each month. In fact, more projects succeeded in 2011 than launched in 2010.

Category Funding

How do those dollars and projects break down by category? Mouse over the graph below to see dollars pledged, projects launched, and total backers for each category in 2011. This data is being illustrated using the category wheel, a feature backers can see on their profile page.

The largest categories continued to be Film ($32 million pledged) and Music ($19 million pledged), however Design saw the biggest growth in launched projects (235 in 2010 vs. 1,060 in 2011), Games saw the largest percentage increase in backers (up 730%), and Dance had the highest success rate (74%). All 13 categories saw at least $1 million in pledges.

Most Popular Reward

The most popular rewards of 2011 were the Cosmonaut (variable price, 5,623 backers) and the Coffee Joulies ($40, 4,246 backers). Also popular with backers: the Oona mount ($25, 3,595 backers), the Capture Camera Clip ($50, 3,372 backers), the Pen Type-A ($50, 2,930 backers), the Jot ($25, 2,556 backers), and the PadPivot ($25, 2,515 backers).

Most Popular Reward ($10 or less)

The mobile game Zombies, Run! ($10, 2,620 backers) was the most popular reward for $10 or less. Also ranking were a download of a Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer live performance ($1, 1,941 backers), a credit for making the Robocop statue ($1, 1,653 backers), and copies of games No Time to Explain ($5, 1,608 backers) and Lords of Uberdark ($10, 1,389 backers). Three of the five most popular rewards under $10 were games.

Most Prolific Backers

It wasn’t just projects registering big numbers. In 2009 the most prolific backer on Kickstarter supported 56 projects; in 2010 that number tripled to 179 projects. The biggest 2011 total: an incredible 724 projects backed by one budding Medici. Here are last year's ten biggest backers and the number of projects they backed in 2011:

  1. H. T. -- 724
  2. E. W. -- 594
  3. G. W. -- 494
  4. T. Z.* -- 326
  5. L. K. -- 302
  6. L. W. -- 277
  7. O. C. -- 267
  8. J. T. -- 250
  9. Y. S.* -- 233
  10. B. B. -- 225

*A Kickstarter employee

Fastest Start

Some projects went like gangbusters right from the start. The year’s biggest launch came from the Elevation Dock, which amassed an astronomical $165,910 during its first 24 hours.

The Dock more than doubled the previous record set just two weeks before: a project by a band called Five Iron Frenzy, who raised $80,000 on day one. That tally broke the six-week-old record of Video Game High School, which raised almost $60,000 in its first day.

Most Improbable Finish

Other projects needed big finishes to close the gap. The biggest of these was a film called Mosquita y Mari, which received almost half its backers and funding in the closing days.

With 48 hours to go, the project was $35,000 short and facing a seemingly insurmountable climb. But Facebook and Twitter lit up, and hundreds of backers began pouring in, nearly all of them for less than $100. But they were enough for Mosquita to make — and by the end exceed — its goal.

Video

Video was more prevalent on Kickstarter in 2011: nearly 80% of projects launched with a project video. In 2010, 69% of projects launched with a video, and just 53% did in 2009. As creators have learned, backers love pressing play.

Comments

    1. Glenn_grover.small

      Creator Glenn Fleishman on January 9, 2012

      Does "pledged" mean collected or does that mean pledges made on all projects, whether nor not a project was funded?

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      Creator Yancey Strickler on January 9, 2012

      Pledged means pledges on all projects. Thanks Glenn!

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      Creator Deke Cloyd on January 9, 2012

      This is very useful information. My thanks go out to whoever initiated this to the public. Since i am about to launch a project soon, this is a huge help and a wealth of information.

      Thank you - thank you - thank you . . .

    4. Missing_small

      Creator The Legendary Frank on January 9, 2012

      So in other words pledged means sod all as there are no stats as to the actual amount taken up. And as the project success rate was less that half of all projects, then the actual amount invested might not be that large.

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      Creator Keith McMillen Instruments on January 9, 2012

      Thanks for the stats! Our campaign for QuNeo, a 3D multi-touch pad controller just ended with an amazing finish, $165K, 1100% of goal, #1 music tech project, #8 of all tech projects, and we believe, the 24th most funded project in Kickstarter history! A suggestion, we wish that you had stats for our video and page views for our campaign, or could provide us with them even after the fact. Is that possible? Thanks, Andrew/KMI

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      Creator Yancey Strickler on January 9, 2012

      84% of dollars pledged on Kickstarter are eventually collected. I don't have the exact numbers on collected in 2011 in front of me (Fred, who handles this, is out of the office today) but I can update the comments with that data later. But something around $84 million should be right for dollars collected in 2011.

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      Creator Eric Kelly on January 9, 2012

      I'm a little confused.
      Successful: 11,836 / Launched: 27,086 != 46%
      Successful: 3,910 / Launched: 11,130 != 43%

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      Creator Aaron Suggs on January 9, 2012

      Eric, I speculate that the success rate is the proportion of projects that *ended* in a particular year. Not all projects that launched in 2011 have ended yet.

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      Creator Yancey Strickler on January 9, 2012

      Re: success rates -- The success rate is calculated by counting the total number of projects that finished in each year rather than the total launched, so the raw numbers look a little skewed. The 2011 launched number also includes roughly 3,000 projects that are still funding. We'll have a more in-depth update on project success rates in the coming months. Thanks Eric!

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      Creator Ron Bassilian and Jim Wheelock on January 9, 2012

      I feel like such a pioneer! Thanks for helping make Inferno 2010 a success. :)

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      Creator John Royle on January 9, 2012

      I backed a project called "OpenVizla" over a year ago. Updates have been few and far between and I still havent seen my reward. Not impressed. Kickstarter have a responsibility to check up on poor performers before they start crowing about how great they are.

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      Creator Luis Castanon on January 9, 2012

      Its too bad theres no stat on how many projects were funded but never actually go anywhere, other than the bank.

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      Creator Miriam M. Hughes on January 9, 2012

      Awesome job KickStarter. I love how I get the opportunity to spend a little, spread the word and help fund projects that mean something to me in all areas. This is truly a brilliant idea.

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      Creator Nancy Schwartzman on January 9, 2012

      This stat-page is awesome, thanks for rounding up the stories, stats and successes so nicely! I will spread far and wide, especially when people ask me which platform to use.

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      Creator Lindy Schneider on January 9, 2012

      Kickstarter is absolutely amazing! At a time when the world is facing an economic crisis, here is Kickstarter giving hope to creatives! I was able to fund the publishing of a childrens book Starfish on the Beach through Kickstarter this past year. Thank you so much for the work you do helping artists and other creatives survive and trhive!!

    16. Missing_small

      Creator Daryl Jones (deleted) on January 9, 2012

      This is truly an amazing program and I am honored to be a part of it today, I want to say "Thanks" to the staff and all involved with the conception, ground work and success "Kickstarter" has been and means to soooo many entrepreneurs.

      Sincerely,
      Daryl J.

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      Creator Karen Vernon on January 9, 2012

      Wow! All this news makes me smile.

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      Creator Lisbeth Ash on January 10, 2012

      We are so happy to be one of the projects that was funded this year through Kickstarter! This project literally saved our season. Thank you so much!!!!

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      Creator Mark & Lisa Burginger on January 10, 2012

      These numbers are the tip of the iceberg when compared to the enormous interactions that Kickstarter has caused for the artists & designers all over the world. We meet and collaborate all the time behind the scenes, in fact just connected with another related project creator an hour ago. Sharing insights and motivation.

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      Creator Seth Vore on January 10, 2012

      Thanks, great statistics for us nerds. Also a helpful dose of realism for the dreamers. Hope to add my project to the "successful" bin when it closes in 11 days!

    21. Missing_small

      Creator Askur Koras (deleted) on January 10, 2012

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

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      Creator Karen Anthony on January 10, 2012

      Thanks for this encouraging news. I hope my project is one of your success stories this year. Also, I could use a couple of Coffee Joulies (your second most popular reward of 2011). Sitting at my laptop, in the mountains, my just poured cup of coffee getting cold, cold, colder.

    23. Missing_small

      Creator Jamie on January 10, 2012

      Thank you for sending 'The Year In Kickstarter' email update. Regardless, factoring the $100,000,000.00 in the email or the adjusted figure Yancey gave for clarification, this is a fantastic example of growth on top of the company's promising numbers from 2010 - it's even more encouraging for people of my/our (all) generation(s) considering the gloomy state of the rest of the economy.

      As an example of a promising new business model, Kickstarter appears to be doing great. However, as the tech industry demonstrates all the time, there is always room for innovation and improvement and I'm glad to see your openness to accept criticism from the other people who posted comments/feedback because some (myself included) have questions about the financial stats you sent.

      $84,000,000.00ish divided by the approximate 5% fee that Kickstarter keeps = $4,200,000.00. According to the Kickstarter website it looks like there are about (32) employees, so excluding overhead and business expenses (which are probably substantial), but also not factoring in any additional revenue from initial investors, advertising, sponsors, and partnerships, the average income/salary could be a well deserved $131,250.00 per employee.

      It would also be an interesting statistic to know if you have demographics and an annual salary for the average project creator/customer/user? For example, once someone launches a project, how much income do they personally earn after they subtract production costs from their successful fundraising campaign?

      As for the White House, MoMA, Whitney, Spin, CNN, Apple, Best Buy, OWS, NPR, and NYT name dropping, it is surprising that an issue like SOPA which is so important to Kickstarter and their customers/users didn't even crack the top (83) stand-out list, yet some of these mainstream media and SOPA-supporting/dodging big companies did? Some, like CNN for example have been called out for sweeping it under the rug and failing to report on SOPA.

      In many ways, I'm in agreement with the big tech companies who took out that full page ad in the New York Times - while I support the goals and everyone's efforts to find NEW ways to protect individual artist's copyrights (including Kickstarter customers/users), I have serious doubts about the effectiveness of SOPA and I am highly skeptical of the proposed methods.

      Then again, I don't feel it is very progressive for the generation of us who grew up using the internet to demonize independent artists by adopting an over simplified "us vs. them" mentality and arguing that a stagnant law from 1998 is hypocritically both outdated and also all the stagnant protection artists need moving forward.

      Dose my willingness to openly discuss different view points make me a community member, or just a target?

      I'm hopeful that 2012 will bring more good things Kickstarter's way and perhaps it will decide to further open up about the importance of improving copyrights for the sake of their customers and all individual artists like myself. Not huge wealthy corporate and political interests, not big tech companies with ad revenues in the billions, but independent individual artists who are trying to make a living one creative idea/project at a time (IE their core customers).

      At the very least, I'm encouraged that Kickstarter sent a promotional email rather then threatening to censor me with legal action.

      Thanks for staying in touch, and I look forward to funding and supporting more creative individual's ideas thru Kickstarter.

      Best,
      Jamie

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      Creator Peter Hoffman on January 10, 2012

      As someone successfully funded this year I just have to thank you guys for putting this platform out there, it's so amazing and when you can bypass traditional gatekeepers to get your work done the recession doesn't seem so bad anymore. The stats speak for themselves and give a real chance what might otherwise be longshot projects. This is the internet at its finest, and regarding the numbers, I hope you all are taking home a healthy salary. Innovators should be encouraged to keep doing so.

    25. 23.small

      Creator Matthew Plummer-Fernandez on January 10, 2012

      What are the stats for US based projects vs non US based projects? 27,000 - 0 ?
      Here outside the US many of us desperately want the rules to change regarding US bank accounts / amazon so that we can launch our projects too!
      Thanks
      Matthew

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      Creator Lucky Cuoco on January 10, 2012

      I shall be monitoring future trends and successes with care.

    27. Missing_small

      Creator Jamie on January 10, 2012

      Peter - Congratulations on your successfully funded project!

      I could not agree with you more that these stats exemplify "the internet at it's finest, and regarding the numbers, I hope you all are taking home a healthy salary. Innovators should be encouraged to keep doing so."

      Amen!

      It is encouraging to hear from another customer/user who believes that the internet is not simply a "free culture" and that like the rest of us, Kickstarter employees deserve to financially benefit from their hard work and creative ideas.

      I'm always amused when some of the richest tech companies try to pretend they are in favor of "free culture", but in reality they are often also suing each other over patents and IP. It is even more ironic considering most of them have heavy handed TOS for users and maintain exclusive ownership of certain proprietary copyrights, trademarks, logos, service marks, trade secrets, etc.

      Like the internet, copyright laws will continue to evolve, but for the sake of protecting rights holding companies like Kickstarter and the creative-minded individual customers/users like you and I, I hope more people are willing to come forward and acknowledge that it is not only possible, but more importantly "ok" to make money on the internet.

      Best of luck on your next project.
      Jamie

    28. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Vincent Ricordeau on January 10, 2012

      Comment for Yancey,
      I am Vincent from KISSKISSBANKBANK, we met few minutes in France at midem, 2 years ago.
      What a success since then...amazing. Those figures are tremendous.
      In our old Europe, we are trying to give the same energy and power to the crowdfunding wave.
      Did you imagine 2 years ago when we met that you will reach those goals so fast ?
      Happy Third year to Kickstarter
      Best regards
      VR

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      Creator Joshua Scott Bentley on January 10, 2012

      amazing statistics...great work! Keep it up!

    30. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Katrina Turner on January 10, 2012

      I was just introduced to Kickstarter a couple months ago when a friend successfully funded a trip from Hawaii to Florida to play several end of the year gigs and see his family at the same time. It was an awesome experience. I don't know what that person meant about the unsuccessful projects. From my understanding, if they didn't meet their goal, then my card wasn't charged. I like that. Makes me know that if I pledge then it has to go toward the project or not at all. Also, our gifts were things like sitting in with the band to CDs, etc...It was wonderful and I suppose my friend who set it up knew what types of gifts he could come through with. I imagine if prompted, Kickstarter could reach out to successfully funded projects whose creators didn't honor the gift. But I also imagine the unsatisfied party would need to contact Kickstart directly? With 32 employees and over a million backers, I can't imagine they really have the manpower for that kind of follow up. Other than a possible automated survey or something. I LOVED the year-end stats. Great idea guys! Keep it up!

    31. Drop-gray.small

      Creator Laurens Laudowicz on January 11, 2012

      Kickstarter I love you! 2011 has been a very challenging year for me and I have yet to deliver the rewards on my successful JUICIES project. But I am going to fullfil the rewards very soon and I could have would have never done this without Kickstarter. U guys rock. Thanks soooo much for putting the data out there. Aloha.

    32. Scurvy_dogs_avatar.small

      Creator Peter McAndrew on January 11, 2012

      I gotta love how in 2009 I would have been the most prolific backer (given what I backed last year), but in 2011 I would have to roughly triple my backed projects to crack the top 10.

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      Creator Roger Ellman on January 11, 2012

      I am so very pleased. This new model and business realm/strategy for funding innovative business concepts to bring them to market (yes an old fashioned phrase - but oh so true) is glorious.
      I have enjoyed it, benefited from it and surely will make more additons to progress - worldwide - both as a contributor (funder/investor) and as a recipient of crowd-sourced largesse and wisdom.!

      Well done! Well done! Really well done!

    34. Mm_profile_pic_sml_bw_.small

      Creator HJMorales on January 11, 2012

      Awesome Information... and resource of ideas and those who back them.

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      Creator Beverlee Pattonallen on January 11, 2012

      Kickstarter stats are very helpful. I'm proud to be a part of this transparent, grass roots program for creative arts. Takes a lot of work to succeed, but learning was half the reward. One of the things I learned was how many people are committed to the arts; another was how closely connected we all are - closer than our life vein.
      Thank you.

    36. Kmi%20staff%20photo.small

      Creator Keith McMillen Instruments on January 11, 2012

      One more comment, Andrew from KMI/QuNeo project here that recently was funded. We had a large number of requests from potential backers who could not or would not use Amazon payments, and therefore did not back our project. Adding PayPal could have added another 20-30% in revenue (at least), and we brought in $165K. Is there a reason you chose only to work with Amazon and would you consider changing this in the future? A lot of Europeans told us they have issues working with Amazon.

    37. Mm_profile_pic_sml_bw_.small

      Creator HJMorales on January 12, 2012

      I agree with Keith M. comment. As a basic web developer with R&D in my skill sets. PayPal is a viable, secure and safe payment option. I hope to see this option added in the future.

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      Creator gaijintendo on January 12, 2012

      What a blatant misuse of a pie chart format. It implies that all these categories recieved equal funding - could you not have thought of a different analogy - or have weighted the pie chart accordingly?

    39. Image044.small

      Creator gaijintendo on January 12, 2012

      I do realise the pie chart is thematic, and used across the site. I had just never seen it used to represent something which could be a pie chart...

    40. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Adam Kuhr on January 31, 2012

      Would you publish a chart showing projects initiated by location? Whether its for 2011 or otherwise doesn't matter, I'm simply curious.

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      Creator For Good Measure on January 31, 2012

      What I would like to know:
      Projects Launched in 2010: (11,130)
      Of those, how many were funded?
      Of the ones that were funded, how many delivered, as of Dec 2011? And tell us how you define "Delivered".
      Also: How many were delivered by their estimated delivery date?
      Breakdowns by funding category would also be interesting.

      Thanks!

    42. Missing_small

      Creator Pierre-Alain Geiser on April 21, 2012

      As an former European user of credit card (way too fast and too easy to come to the credit limit, and then years to pay back the amounts loaned by the credit card company, with an enormous interest %), I would like to take part at Kickstarter's projects funding, but NOT using a credit card. Is it technically possible using PayPal ?

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      Creator Viktor Brown on May 1, 2012

      Are the statistics per year or absolute, meaning are the 27000 launched projects for 2011 or up until 2011?
      THanks

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      Creator Jim Mortensen on May 31, 2012

      +1 on For Good Measure's comment...

      I funded 3 projects which have not delivered. Two were for physical objects, one was for a film. The project runners could have gone to the Bahamas with the money for all I know.

      I like a little more accountability in the projects I back.

    45. Missing_small

      Creator ivanovvv86 on September 28, 2012

      easy way to organize all of your information when preparing for vacation. Planning and managing the multiple aspects of a http://googl.com trip can be very difficult, but with TripIt, everything you need is in one place. With this app, organizing reservations, flights, housing, and other things becomes easy and efficient.

    46. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator aPetrov on October 1, 2012

      One more comment, Andrew from KMI/QuNeo project here that recently was funded. We had a large number of requests from potential backers who could not or would not use Amazon payments, and therefore did not back our project. Adding PayPal could have added another http://thebackalleygallery.com 20-30% in revenue (at least), and we brought in $165K. Is there a reason you chose only to work with Amazon and would you consider changing this in the future? A lot of Europeans told us they have issues working with Amazon.

    47. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator aPetrov on October 4, 2012

      http://chesserstats.com What I would like to know:
      Projects Launched in 2010: (11,130)
      Of those, how many were funded?
      Of the ones that were funded, how many delivered, as of Dec 2011? http://promorainbow.com/ebooks/ And tell us how you define "Delivered".
      Also: How many were delivered by their estimated delivery date?
      Breakdowns by funding category would also be interesting.

      Thanks!

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      Creator Tracie Williams on December 6, 2012

      What is the success rate for Kickstarter projects launched December compared to other months.

    49. Croppedtracie.small

      Creator Tracie Williams on December 6, 2012

      Hi! Can you tell me what the success rate is for projects launched in December, compared to other months?

      Many thanks!!