Makestar is a relatively new and unique Korea-based crowdfunding platform that works directly with companies and artists to “[make] a space where fans can actually participate in stars’ content production.” To further accommodate users around the globe, all information is available in Korean, English, Chinese, and Japanese.
Their website first launched in late 2015, and over 20 projects have already been successfully funded. Emphasizing that Makestar is truly for anything related to the Hallyu wave, their partnership page states that they’re open to campaigns “in the area of music, broadcasting, drama, movies, and merchandising of the entertainment industry,” though most of the completed projects so far have been for albums or music videos. Photobooks have also proved to be popular campaigns, however.
As is typical of crowdfunding, all projects have a set goal and a clear deadline. In exchange for financial support, fans have the opportunity to receive exclusive rewards such as signed albums, custom audio clips (e.g. morning calls), and even invitations to special fan meetings depending on how much they contribute. In addition, most projects include milestones for different levels of completion that will give fans access to special updates or perks upon being reached.
Makestar has also already proven its resolve in making sure promises on both sides will be upheld, so there’s little concern regarding companies running off with your money. For example, RaNia’s project was repeatedly postponed after its completion in December 2015, and Makestar refunded backers when DR Music failed to provide adequate updates.
The benefits of Makestar for donors are pretty clear, but it’s also a blessing for entertainers from smaller labels who may not otherwise have as many opportunities to produce content. Their companies can test out ideas and gauge how the public responds before investing thousands of dollars, and fans can prove to the label that their favorite celebrities are truly worth supporting. It’s a win-win for everyone involved and definitely worth checking out for Hallyu fans that don’t mind waiting a little bit for the payoff.
[ Images from Makestar’s website ]
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