The Kickstarter Blog

Fan Communities and Kickstarter

  1. Musopen Frees Classical Music

    Tuesday night a Kickstarter project called Record and release free music without copyrights by Aaron Dunn/Musopen will end having raised at least 350% of its goal. You might not know it to look at it, but the project has the potential to benefit pretty much every other project on Kickstarter — and film projects in particular.

    To legally use music in a film or for any other purpose, you are required to license the content first: both the publishing rights (the person who wrote the work) and performance rights (the people who perform the work). In the case of classical music, there is no longer a copyright — anything published before 1923 is public domain — but there are still performance rights — the orchestra who performs the piece, etc.

    This is often an issue with filmmakers in particular: budgeting money to hire a small string quartet or orchestra to soundtrack the work. The Musopen project is raising money to record completely free and open versions of various classical works. As the description states, “Every $1,000 buys a complete set of Mozart violin sonatas.” Which works are recorded will be voted on by backers, with higher tiers offering the ability to request a specific piece. 

    Though we want to be sure the world’s orchestras are getting plenty of work, we applaud the creative application of this project and its potential benefits for the rest of the creative community. Great stuff.

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  2. The New Discover

    Today we’re excited to unveil a brand new Discover page to showcase the thousands of awesome projects on Kickstarter. Along with a new look, the page introduces a number of browsing options. Let’s take a look:


    The ability to browse by location has long been one of our most-requested features, and with today’s update it’s arrived. Under the Cities sidebar you can see projects from the ten most popular project locations on Kickstarter. 

    If you click on New York, for example, you can see all Recommended, Popular, and Successful projects located in NYC. At the bottom of the page you can also see all projects from the state of New York broken down by location:

    This is particularly helpful when searching by location, which you can also now do in the sidebar. So a query for Portland, Maine, also reveals projects from Lewiston, Bangor, and other Maine locations.

    One last local tip: We’ve redesigned the project widgets to display the project’s location, which is clickable. So there are lots of ways to start exploring by geography.

    Hall of Fame

    As you browse Popular, Recommended, and some of the other filters, you may notice that you only see projects that are currently funding. This is by design. Successfully funded projects are no longer included in general browse — those are now located under Hall of Fame, a master list of the more than 2,500 successful projects to date. These are sorted by our popular algorithm; future iterations will include the ability to sort by money raised and other metrics.

    Almost Funded

    Get a thrill from being the one to put a project over its goal? Almost Funded is for you. This page sorts projects by proximity to their goal — once a project hits the mark, it’s removed from the page.

    Small Projects

    We’ve talked about Small Projects here on the blog before, and we thought it was time to give them an official home on the site too. This filters down to projects that have a funding goal of $1,000 or less, a duration of 30 days or less, and they include a video. In our experience that mix has found a lot of success with the Kickstarter community, and it often leads to fun and whimsical creations. Don’t miss this one.

    We hope you like the changes, and we’d love to hear your feedback. Use the comments to let us know what you think!

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