9% of successfully funded Kickstarters are a ‘failure’

Around one in 11 successfully funded projects on Kickstarter still eventually fail, according to a new report.

Games Industry reports on a study from Professor Ethan Mollick of the University of Pennsylvania, conducted in conjunction with – but independent from – Kickstarter itself.

He declared that a Kickstarter can be deemed a ‘failure’ if respondents either never received their backer rewards or did receive them but felt they were not what they had been promised. 5.2 per cent and two per cent of backers fell into those categories respectively.

That makes 7.2 per cent. However, interpreting the data is difficult. If the threshold of failure is regarded as a project with a single unsatisfied backer then the failure rate raises to 9.95 per cent. If, however, all backers were required to consider it a failure, the failure rate falls to 5.6 per cent.

If only half of backers are required to consider the project a failure (which seems fair), the golden number is an 8.6 per cent failure rate.

An additional 18.8 per cent of backers have not received rewards but do expect to in the future, however.

The report added technology, film and food projects are the most likely to fail, with music less likely. Projects that raise $1,000 or less are also more likely to fail.

The numbers were based on a sample of over 47k backers.

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