Are the Million-dollar Kickstarters slowing down?

Haiku Elvis

Knuckle-dusters, glass jaws and wooden hearts.
So I read a couple of articles recently one from someone who had a million dollar Kickstarter and one about how Apple's privacy changes had impacted small business advertising online.

I was going to post something here about how that could be affecting million dollar Kickstarters but I got waylaid by a post in another forum (I know, how promiscuous of me) about how a company had cancelled their kick starter as they had only reached half the goal after week one. TLDR I'm too lazy to type the whole thing again so here a copy of my other post
To cut a long backstory short I was reading an old interview a couple of days ago from the main guy behind Coyote and Crow which was conducted just after the Kickstarter ended so a year and a bit ago-ish.

One thing he mentioned that struck me was the emphasis he put on targeted advertising through Facebook etc. And how you could almost see real time returns on the advertising money put in. His main advice to people running Kickstarter s was to not ignore the advertising budget.

This of course was before Apple's new privacy rules blocked a lot of the tracker information and hit the effectiveness of on line advertising. Apparently affecting small businesses more; the ones that can't afford the more scatter shot big billboard model of advertising and relied on targeting niche customers.

If you want to spend money on advertising you would need to be sure of hitting your goal early so you could guarantee funding to payback the advertising debt you are building up.

If you know you already hit target you can spend the excess on advertising to bring in even more funding to increase advertising to bring in more funding allowing you to reduce costs through economies of scale and still make a profit.

If the advertising returns have become tighter this becomes even more important to hit the goal very early on, to justify the advertising spend to hit the higher numbers to reduce your costs through scale to make a profit given you've already spent a whole wodge of money on advertising before the Kickstarter even ended.

So I can understand even getting half the goal in week one would mean the knock on effect could make the whole project uneconomical for a company that needs to make a certain profit.
 

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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I was going to post something here about how that could be affecting million dollar Kickstarters
It won't, really. When you use the best ad option in the TTRPG business (Backerkit Facebook ads) it only boosts you by about 10%. It's not a magnitude increase. It's useful, and worth doing, but it's not a gamechanger. It's not like we're seeing lots of Kickstarters almost making $1M. If you're going to be a million-dollar Kickstarter, you will be with or without those ads.
 

Autumnal

Bruce Baugh, Writer of Fortune
Notably, Kelsey Dionne put little or no money or effort into Facebook et al and a bunch into YouTube. Causality is always ghastly complex here, but it seems like a good argument for her sense that FB, IG, etc, are not as good use of her time as YT and her own website and newsletter.
 


Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
Notably, Kelsey Dionne put little or no money or effort into Facebook et al and a bunch into YouTube. Causality is always ghastly complex here, but it seems like a good argument for her sense that FB, IG, etc, are not as good use of her time as YT and her own website and newsletter.
She's an overnight success after three years of putting out well-regarded and extremely popular adventures, along with a great YouTube channel full of actionable advice for DMs.

I suspect for people without those advantages, advertising is more useful, but I bet it's very rare that anyone breaks a million dollars with a Kickstarter RPG project without already being very well known in some fashion or other.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Notably, Kelsey Dionne put little or no money or effort into Facebook et al and a bunch into YouTube. Causality is always ghastly complex here, but it seems like a good argument for her sense that FB, IG, etc, are not as good use of her time as YT and her own website and newsletter.
Yes, the single must powerful thing is to have/build your own following (or be using a brand with a following). No ad campaign will come close to that. That's how folks like Matt Colville or Ghostfire Press did it.
 
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