“Couch-surfing and crowd-surfing are essentially the same thing. You’re falling into the audience, and asking your fans to catch you,” Amanda Palmer states in her own unique way during her TED Talk. “So when it came time to put out my new album, I turned to crowd-funding, and I ‘fell’ into those thousands of connections I’d made and I asked my crowd to catch me.”
Palmer, an Out100 honoree, has made an art out of crowd-sourcing and crowd-funding, making headlines last year for raising $1.2 million on Kickstarter to fund her latest album. While plenty have tried to criticize her for various reasons, she says it's the modern-day version of the street-performing, which she did for many years as the 8ft Bride, and the couch-surfing she’s done throughout her years of touring.
“For most of human history musicians and artists have been part of the community—connectors and openers, not untouchable stars. Celebrity is about a lot of people loving you from a distance. But the internet and the content we’re able to share on it is taking us back, and it’s about a few people loving you up close, and those people being enough.”
Palmer makes the case that these lessons may solve the music biz’s current dilemma around trying to get people to pay for music: “Maybe instead of asking ourselves how we can make people pay for music, we should ask ourselves how to LET them.”
Watch it below: