“I think for a while a lot of people looked at Kickstarter’s rise and thought it would become the eBay of crowdfunding,” says TourAlong co-founder David Anderson. “However, it ended up more like PayPal and spawned a horizontal ecosystem. As more crowdfunding platforms emerge, there are going to be targeted approaches towards different markets.”
TourAlong was built precisely as one of those targeted approaches to the crowdfunding market by Anderson and Shaun Swanson, Alex Greer, and Dan Donche. Specifically, they tailored the platform for bands heading out into the world on their first tours.
Before indie bands reach mid-level fame and sign with a record label, they need a way to subsidize their tour expenses. What better way than by tapping the market that already supports the band? For TourAlong, the fans are the key to everything.
Your favorite local bands going on tour can sign up for crowdfunding on TourAlong. From there, they can offer thousands of different perks to cover certain expenses and provide engaging fun for their fans.
Say they plan to eat out one night; you can donate the funding for their meal. The return on the perk comes when the band takes a group picture and sends it directly to you as thanks.
The brilliance behind this concept lies in eliminating the almost endless wait for perk fulfillment with other crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. TourAlong is vowing to close the loop between the band and their audience while also accelerating the feedback process.
In addition to the long wait for perk fulfillment, crowdfunded projects have been coming under fire for not paying out when the time arrives. According to Anderson, this ultimately turns a lot of people off to a sometimes great idea.
“In the crowdfunding world, you give the creative director money, and they hope to produce the product you are supporting,” says Anderson. “We wanted to innovate on the standard.”
Thanks to the feedback acceleration efforts, TourAlong perks are satisfied within hours of donation. Referring back to the earlier example, you can see that the fan is rewarded shortly after donating with a personal picture that they can brag to their friends about.
The team wants it so that all parties involved with the platform win: the band gets part of their tour paid off, the fan gets a personalized perk from their favorite band, and TourAlong itself can report another smashing success.
“Our idea tends to resonate with bands because they have already thought about crowdfunding,” explains Anderson. “Their experiences have been disappointing, though. It is really interesting to watch the response to the Kickstarter and Indiegogo issue by enhancing the rewards system.”
Currently, TourAlong is looking to stick with popular local bands looking to get more of a national reputation. However, the future looks to be open for any band that has an acute need for funding during their tours. The option remains open for bands already signed to labels as well.