After news broke that the New York Times is again shopping The Boston Globe around, crowdfunding site Kickstarter cheekily tweeted that it would love to help find the paper some backers.
How realistic is that really? Not at all: Given that the New York Times has hired Evercore Partners to help facilitate the sale, and we have yet to see a group of investment bankers successfully pitch a large-scale Kickstarter project as a way to spin off a piece of a larger corporation, you won’t be able to pledge money for what could be some creative rewards: How about $25 to get your name in a classified ad, or $500 to spend a week with the Globe’s Fake Elevator as your personal office.
That being said, raising the money might not be as far fetched as it would seem.
The Pebble Watch, Kickstarter’s most-funded project ever, raised over $10,266,845. That’s a far cry from the $1.1 billion the Times paid for the Globe in 1993, but papers were doing a bit better back then, financially, and the Pebble Watch offers a paper-like appearance. The Globe can offer actual paper, which has to be worth at least a little something extra.
And the area has a history of well-funded Kickstarter campaigns. Amanda Palmer raised $1,192,793 to fund a new record and tour, and the Form 1 3D printer raised $2,945,885 for its first production line.
In 2012, Kickstarter reported that its users pledged $319,786,629in total.
Those sums are probably a pittance compared to what the Times hopes to gain from the sale, but by breaking the Globe up into sub-projects, perhaps the funding could be relatively competitive with what private investors would offer. Already, supporters of various sections were lobbying for increased production of their favorite types of content.
If that doesn’t work, there’s other interesting options. After tech publishing magnate Henry Blodget expressed his interest, a Twitter user shared an artist’s rendition of possible editorial shifts.
Fortunately, Blodget lost interest in a possible acquisition a short time after.