Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter May 11, 2019

The Role of Platforms in Fulfilling the Potential of Crowdfunding as an Alternative Decentralized Arena for Cultural Financing

Roei Davidson


This study considers cultural crowdfunding as a heterogeneous system that allows money and attention to flow from backers to founders of cultural projects in diverse cultural sectors and focuses on the nature of the standards governing it. It analyzes Kickstarter’s corporate blog since the platform’s launch and finds indications that social media practices are increasingly naturalized as integral to crowdfunding and that social media architectures are increasingly adopted by the crowdfunding platform. This, I argue, has a potential exclusionary effect. At the same time, the analysis finds evidence that Kickstarter is striving to develop an independent capacity to set aesthetic standards, which might moderate that effect and help constitute crowdfunding as an alternative decentralized arena for the funding of culture.

Note: An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 2016 meeting of the Association of Internet Researchers (Berlin, Germany) and at the workshop on “The Sharing Economy: Markets and Human Rights”, College of Law and Business, Ramat Gan, January 2018. I wish to thank Nat Poor for his assistance in collecting the data used in this paper and for his support more generally. I wish to thank Ilan Talmud for his detailed comments, and the organizers, Shelly Levy-Kreiczer and Ronit Donyets-Kedar, and participants of the Sharing Economy workshop for their comments and suggestions. All remaining errors are solely the author’s.

Published Online: 2019-05-11
Published in Print: 2019-05-27

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston