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%
- 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.
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:
- H. T. -- 724
- E. W. -- 594
- G. W. -- 494
- T. Z.* -- 326
- L. K. -- 302
- L. W. -- 277
- O. C. -- 267
- J. T. -- 250
- Y. S.* -- 233
- B. B. -- 225
*A Kickstarter employee
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 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.