Back in July we talked about Kickstarter finally moving outside of the US this fall, and the company has now confirmed that they will be opening up shop in the United Kingdom on October 31. They’ve been criticized for their lack of international involvement (unlike IndieGoGo) -- and they also recently changed their guidelines regarding hardware and product design -- but they are beginning to put the former criticisms to rest with the launch of service in the UK. Here is a rundown of what this means for you (assuming you live in that area):
So UK creators can start building their Kickstarter projects as early as today, and launch them beginning October 31?
Yes. We thought the three-week gap would give everyone plenty of time to build and tweak their projects before launching. Beginning October 31, they can launch and share their projects with the world.
Will there be a UK-specific Kickstarter site?
Nope. UK-based projects will be listed alongside all the other Kickstarter projects.
Can people outside the UK pledge to UK projects?
Yes! Just like every other project on Kickstarter, backers can pledge to UK-based projects from all around the world.
What currency will UK projects be listed in?
All UK projects will be listed in pounds sterling. If you are pledging from outside the UK, you will see the approximate conversion rate to US dollars before you complete your pledge.
Will backing UK projects be similar to backing US projects?
The mechanics of Kickstarter (all-or-nothing funding, rewards, etc.) are identical for US and UK projects. When pledging, however, backers of UK projects will enter their payment information directly on Kickstarter rather than through Amazon Payments. All pledges will be processed securely through a third-party payments processor.
Are the fees for UK and US projects the same?
Like the US, Kickstarter will charge a 5% fee to successfully funded projects and no fee to unsuccessfully funded projects in the UK. Payment processing fees for UK projects are similar to those for US projects. For UK projects, the processing fees are:
Pledges less than £10 are charged 5% + £0.05
Pledges of £10 or greater are charged 3% + £0.20
I have to assume that since they are talking about the UK, and only referencing the pound, that this new development does not include Ireland, since not only are they not part of the UK, but they deal in Euros, not pounds. It is interesting that Kickstarter would come to the UK before it comes to Canada, considering the strong trading relations between the two countries, but it must be a matter of demand. It's unclear when Kickstarter will venture out in the Euro Zone, but there is no question in my mind that it's part of their long-term strategy.
Kickstarter hasn't yet had a million dollar project disappear with the money, but the more territories it involves, the more that becomes a possibility without some changes to the way the site runs. While it originally began as a DIY endeavor, it's become serious money for a lot of serious projects, and at some point people need to be held accountable for these larger projects. It's easier to do this with physical products, but doing it with creative projects is a whole other matter entirely.
What do you guys think? Would anyone else who lives in other territories like to see Kickstarter come their way? Are you happy with the other options that currently exist in your country?
Link: Kickstarter in the UK