21 October 2016
Jing Wong is one of the first Hong Kong artists to tap crowdfunding to realize their projects. Photo: Facebook
Jing Wong is one of the first Hong Kong artists to tap crowdfunding to realize their projects. Photo: Facebook

Got a great idea but no money? Here’s what to do

Since Jing Wong left his record firm and became an independent artist, he had been mulling over ways to finance the production of his second CD.

Recently, he hit upon the idea of crowdfunding.

Through Music Bee, a local platform devoted to raising funds for such projects, Wong let people listen to some of his songs.

People who like them can become backers and give whatever amount they choose to support Wong’s CD project.

In this case, backers are not going to get any financial return. But they will get Wong’s CD. Essentially, they are pre-ordering it.

After 51 days, Wong raised over HK$160,000 from 429 backers when the fund-raising program closed in May, slightly exceeding his target of HK$120,000.

Music Bee keeps 15 percent as commission, but Wong still has enough to produce his music.

“It’s a revolutionary approach,” Wong told reporters.

Artists can produce the music they want without signing contracts with record companies, or compromising their art. This is very “healthy”, he said.

Music Bee has so far completed 10 successful projects. Six wannabes are still waiting for enough backers.

Crowdfunding works like this. An applicant first presents the plan and how the fund will be used.

If the platform accepts it, the crowdfunding process kicks off. The applicant then has to keep backers posted of the progress of the project, if the fund-raising target is reached, if production has started, if the project succeeds.  Finally, applicants arrange for rewards (Copies of the CD, in the case of Music Bee) to be sent to backers.

Lots of crowdfunding backers are youngsters, according to an RTHK report. They tend to be more willing to put money into something they think is valuable, including culture, charity, games and sports. Hence crowdfunding has lots of possibilities.

In the old days, companies foot the bill and make the call. But now as long as one has good ideas and enough fans, one can raise money from them, and sell the work directly to them.

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Jing Wong’s "How to Disappear” CD album is now all done. He is sharing his music with fans at Hysan Place on Saturday. Photo: Facebook

EJ Insight writer

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