Kickstarter Ditches Amazon For Stripe

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To say it was a headache to get a Kickstarter project up and running is an understatement. And it wasn’t Kickstarter’s fault completely. The Kickstarter interface is nice and sleek and quite intuitive. The problem was with Amazon. A source tells Digital Music News that her company was denied setting up an Amazon Business account (to run their Kickstarter campaign) because of minor application inconsistencies (Blvd vs. Boulevard) that didn’t match government tax records. The company rep I spoke with mentioned that it took her about two weeks to appeal with Amazon and although their customer service was friendly, they couldn’t explain over the phone what the issues were (fraud protection). The source mentioned she spoke with about 5 different Amazon reps over the course of the two weeks and in the end had to send in official tax documents from the IRS and “an official letter mailed to you at your physical location in the US (bank statement, utility bill).” Not a PO Box (which is her company’s official mailing address).

This company, and everyone else about to launch a Kickstarter campaign, will be relieved to hear that you no longer have to work through Amazon. Kickstarter announced today that they will be transitioning from Amazon Payments to Stripe to “seamlessly collect and process payments for all projects on Kickstarter.”

Kickstarter states that setting up payments through Stripe will take a few minutes whereas Amazon could take a few days (or weeks). Here’s how it will look for creators:

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“Late last year Amazon decided to discontinue the payments product that we have used. We took the opportunity to consider the best possible partner to process payments for creators and backers moving forward.” – Kickstarter

Stripe works with other large clients like Facebook, Twitter, Lyft, TaskRabbit, and fellow crowd-funding platform, Patreon.

Kickstater explains that the current fees won’t change. If a project is successfully funded, Kickstarter will keep 5% of the total funds raised and Stripe will apply credit card processing fees between 3-5% (Amazon’s current rate).

Finally, for backers, this new payment system streamlines the process. No longer will backers be redirected to Amazon and have to login (or signup) to back a project. They can simply enter payment information within Kickstater. For those who have backed projects in the past and like using Amazon payments, well then I guess you’ll have about two minutes of extra work when backing future projects.

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Kickstater has already started moving projects over to Stripe and will be fully transitioned “by next week.”

So far over $1.2 billion has been successfully pledged to nearly 77,000 projects on Kickstarter. $121 million has been successfully pledged to 18,500 music projects.

Of Kickstarter’s 15 categories, Music has the 3rd highest success rate at 53.58%. Theater is 2nd at 62.35% and Dance has the highest success rate amongst all Kickstarter projects with a success rate of 67.08%. Technology projects have the lowest success rate (24.15%).

Ari Herstand is a Los Angeles bases singer/songwriter (who ran a successful Kickstarter campaign) and is the creator of the music biz advice blog, Ari’s Take. Follow him on Twitter: @aristake

About The Author

Ari Herstand
Writer, Musician, Whiskey Drinker

Ari Herstand is the author of How To Make It in the New Music Business (Dec 2016 - Liveright / Norton). He has been a DIY musician for over 10 years, has performed over 600 shows around the world and released 4 studio albums and 2 live albums. He has had songs featured on multiple TV shows, commercials and films and has shared the stage with Ben Folds, Cake, Matt Nathanson, Joshua Radin, Eric Hutchinson, Milk Carton Kids and Ron Pope. He created the music business advice blog, Ari’s Take in the Spring of 2012 to help DIY musicians navigate the independent world of music. Herstand was born and raised in the Midwest and got his start in the Minneapolis music scene. He rose to prominence locally and consistently sold out the 800 capacity Varsity Theater. He became the go-to musician in the scene for music business advice before he moved to Los Angeles in the Summer of 2010. Currently residing in West Hollywood, Herstand still spends a good portion of his time on the road touring. When at home he splits his time writing music, writing articles, writing his book (out December 2016 with Norton Publishing), playing shows at the Hotel Cafe and acting in TV shows (see him in his co-star appearances on Mad Men, 2 Broke Girls, Aquarius, Transparent, The Fosters, and others)

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7 Responses

  1. Avatar
    Anonymous

    at least amazon’s privacy protection is decent, which is bizarre midst their ridiculous tracking and algo’s and stuff like that…

    amazon is a new age company that really makes me think about going back to the stone ages per say and keeping everything off of the internet, as theyll just search all servers and in seconds undercut anything i do anywhere, which is smart but also like shortsighted a bit dont you think??

    I cant wait until the states starts watering their crops with Gatorade…

  2. Avatar
    Anonymous

    thats good stuff, decent little slice of pie for the new bidness, still though it averages out to enough to do maybe one video while kickstarter slides a whole pile of bennies in da pocket, which just doesnt cut it…

    still kicking myself for not getting into tech and coding earlier and greasing people this way, what a genius green goody two shoe looking company man, well well done, as always just sticking it straight in creators and dreamers is thee way to go about it…

    no wonder you never see god anywhere, buddy knows how humans treat creators, so he just stays away feet up laughing at us im sure like pfft, save those assholes, dont think so! lol

  3. Avatar
    FarePlay

    “Of Kickstarter’s 15 categories, Music has the 3rd highest success rate at 53.58%. Theater is 2nd at 62.35% and Dance has the highest success rate amongst all Kickstarter projects with a success rate of 67.08%. Technology projects have the lowest success rate (24.15%).”

    Thanks Ari. Great little factoid at the end of your article. Never would have guessed dance would be number 1. Love that.

    Good to see you back. Happy New Year.

  4. Avatar
    Sam @ Projekt

    I found it very annoying in the past to have my Kickstarter payment forced into an Amazon Payment Account. Why couldn’t Kickstarter use Paypal? Or have a company process the funding, but deposit it directly into my bank account. Now I have to open a Stripe account, and once again have my money in somebody else’s payment system for a while? Why?