Crowdfunding has a long history with many roots. Books have been crowdfunded for centuries; authors and publishers would advertise book projects inpraenmeration or subscription schemes. The book would be written and published if enough subscribers signaled their readiness to buy the book once it was out. The subscription business model is not exactly crowdfunding, since the actual flow of money only begins with the arrival of the product. However, the list of subscribers has the power to create the necessary confidence among investors that is needed to risk the publication.

War bonds are theoretically a form of crowdfunding military conflicts. London’s mercantile community saved the Bank of England in the 1730s when customers demanded their pounds to be converted into gold – they supported the currency until confidence in the pound was restored, thus crowdfunding their own money. A clearer case of modern crowdfunding isAugustecomte’s scheme to issue notes for the public support of his further work as a philosopher. The “Première CirculaireAnnuelleadresséeparl’auteur du Système de Philosophie Positive” was published on March 14, 1850, and several of these notes, blank and with sums have survived.The cooperative movement of the 19th and 20th centuries is a broader precursor. It generated collective groups, such as community or interest-based groups, pooling subscribed funds to develop new concepts, products, and means of distribution and production, particularly in rural areas of Western Europe and North America. In 1885, when government sources failed to provide funding to build a monumental base for the Statue of Liberty , a newspaper-led campaign attracted small donations from 160,000 donors.

Crowdfunding on the internet first gained popular and mainstream use in the arts and music communities. The first noteworthy instance of online crowdfunding in the music industry was in 1997, when fans of the British rock bandMarillion raised US$60,000 in donations through an Internet campaign to underwrite an entire U.S. tour. The band subsequently used this method to fund their studio albums. This built on the success of crowdfunding via magazines, such as the 1992 campaign by the Vegan Society that crowdfunded the production of the Truth or Dairy video documentary.The The phenomenon of crowdfunding is older than the term “crowdfunding”. The earliest recorded use of the word was in August 2006. Crowdfunding is a part of crowdsourcing, which is a much wider phenomenon itself.

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