What makes crowds fund? The link between crowdfunding and self-construal in the music industry
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Crowdfunding through an online environment has emerged as a popular capital raising means for a variety of different organisations and industries across numerous countries. The increasing popularity of crowdfunding brings with it a need for a better understanding of this expansive movement, including the influencing drivers that motivate individuals to contribute towards a crowdfunding campaign. The past few years has realised the potential of crowdfunding from the general public in the entertainment industry (Kickstarter, 2013b; Palmer, 2014; PledgeMusic, 2013), with a growing number of musicians and artists utilising the funding opportunities offered to them through online platforms such as Kickstarter and PledgeMusic. This research explores the notion of self-construal and communication methods as motivating factors in an individual’s decision to participate in a crowdfunding endeavour in the specific context of the music industry. An experimental design using an online survey was conducted to examine this connection. Respondents were asked to complete a priming activity designed to set either a dependent or independent state of self- construal, the viewed one of three simulated Facebook pages featuring band content which was presented using different communication strategies. Respondents were then asked to answer a range of questions relating to crowdfunding, contributions, and their perceived attitudes. The resulting data set from this experiment was then analysed using SPSS. The results indicate that independently, neither self-construal nor communication strategy significantly influence a individuals contribution behaviour in a crowdfunding situation, however, a combined self-construal state and communication strategy shows a significant influence on an individual’s contribution towards crowdfunding endeavour.