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Kickstarter Statistics Dissected

Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms offer a great opportunity for anybody with a great idea and the motivation to get the funding they need. Successfully launching a campaign takes time and effort, but it also requires considerable strategizing. To make this platform more understandable, and to serve as a reference guide, I have crunched some numbers and compiled a fairly comprehensive data set.

 

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Here it is: Kickstarter — By the Numbers. 

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Kickstarter Growth Statistics: 

  • 2010: 11,130 launched projects – $27 million raised
  • 2011: 27,086 launched projects – $99 million raised
  • 2012: 68,878 launched projects – $283 million raised

Kickstarter Traffic Growth: 

  • 2010: 8,294,183 visitors
  • 2011: 30,590,342 visitors
  • 2012: 34,975,019 visitors

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Successful Kickstarter Projects, Ranked by Gross Contributions:

  1. Film/Video: $86.14 million
  2. Games: $56.34 million
  3. Music: $52.04 million
  4. Design: $50.90 million
  5. Technology: $21.90 million
  6. Publishing: $16.77 million
  7. Art: $15.63 million

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Statistics on Kickstarter Campaigns:

  • Most popular contribution amount: $25
  • Average contribution amount: $70 (heavy skew)
  • Projects without reward of $20 or less succeed 28% of time (39.99% success rate for film/video projects overall)
  • Projects with reward of $20 or less succeed 45% of time
  • Projects with timeline of 30 days or less have higher success rates (35%) (urgency) while projects of 60 days have 29% success rate
  • Only 10% of projects that raise greater than 30% of their goal end up failing, only 3% fail that surpass 50% funding
  • 106 projects have achieved greater than 10x their initial goal: only 33 of those were projects larger than $10,000

The below graph charts success rate with time line, there is a medium-strength correlation demonstrating a decreased success rate with increased timeframe.

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Larger goals tend to have a decreased likelihood of success.
Greater number of reward levels increases the likelihood of success.
Lengthier timelines have a decreased likelihood of success.

Featured projects have an 89% success rate, while non-featured have an aggregate success rate of 30%
Only 25% of projects delivered on time.
Within 8 months of deadline, 75% of projects are delivered successfully

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Projects that are successful don’t achieve much greater than their goal:

  • 25% exceed their goal by less than 4%
  • 50% exceed their goal by less than 11%

Projects that fail. Failure often occurs by larger margins:

  • Less than 10% of failed projects exceed 30% of their goals
  • Only 3% exceeded 50% of their goal.

The graph below presents the timing and magnitude of contributions as the timeline progresses. A clear bump at the beginning and end is fairly typical. The remainder of the campaign should be a consistent “trickle”.

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The average failed project receives $900 in contributions (keeping in mind that unless you reach your threshold you get nothing)

The average successful project receives $7,825

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All things being equal: 

  • < $10,000 projects have a 38% success rate
  • < $50,000 projects have an 18% success rate
  • > $100,000 projects have a 7% success rate

Film & Video Information (most popular category):

  • 24.1% of Kickstarter’s successful projects have been film/video
  • 13% (1,325 projects) in film/video have raised greater than $20,000
  • Less than 1% have raised over $100,000 in past projects
  • Average film/video project funding:   $4,465.99
  • 80% of all successful film/video projects have goals between $1,000 and $20,000
  • 63% of successfully funded film/video projects have goals between $1,000 and $10,000
  • 10% of successful film/video projects had goals set in $20,000 – $100,000

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Fastest Growing Campaigns: 

  1. Ouya: Portable game console built on Android system, with free games and open SDK (goal: $100,000 — final: $10,255,846)
  2. Double Fine Adventure: Video game (goal: $400,000 — final: $3,336,372)
  3. Pebble: Customizable smart watch (goal:  $100,000 — final: $10,266,846)

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There are always exceptions to the rules, and these statistics only tell one part of the story, this is aggregate data. What the data can provide you with though, is a better understanding of how to increase your likelihood of success, and what budgets and timelines are most effective on Kickstarter.

Remember: When it comes to setting your budget, you can always raise more than you’ve set. However, if you set an unrealistic goal, people will be hesitant to contribute, and if you achieve anything less than 100% of the goal, you get nothing.

Launching a Kickstarter campaign is a one-shot event; while you can change some things after you’ve launched, much of it you cannot. Prepare carefully and maintain realistic expectations, and you are clear for liftoff!

Reprinted by permission.

 

About the author: Maxim Wheatley

Maxim Wheatley is a recent graduate of Georgetown University, having studied Cognitive Science & Psychology. He is currently working to become an iOS development guru. His interests center around startups and new ventures, he has already been involved in three different startups, and started two small businesses before he graduated college. Currently based in Washington, DC, Maxim is always interested in talking about ideas and opportunities wherever they might be.

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