Kickstarter—the Internet's digital collection basket—is changing the shape of the music industry to come. Artists who need money to get a project off the ground can suddenly get backing directly from their fans. In return, those musicians are happy to keep fans abreast of their day-to-day creative process. 

Kickstarter has proved a boon to independent musicians. Even in an era where labels complain that no one will pay for music, over 400,000 have backed a music project on Kickstarter, according to co-founder Yancey Strickler. 

Punk cabaret songstress Amanda Palmer, an active Kickstarter user, helps explain the success of what’s become known as "crowd-funding" in the video above, and why she thinks it’s the “obvious next step” in the future of music production.

“The music business is baffled by the idea that people would willingly give money to something they could get for free, just to support an artist,” Palmer says. “But actually, emotionally, people get so much out of contributing to artists who’ve given them music that they love. This drives business people crazy because they can’t measure it.”

That being said, here’s some numbers that help measure Kickstarter’s success. Last year, 260,178 people donated over $19 million to fund 3,654 different music projects. That's an incredible amount of money from these supposedly selfish music fans. 

Stay tuned for more videos about Kickstarter, including Amanda Palmer's crowd-funded upcoming album, on Fuse. 

In the video below, Amanda Palmer explains how she took an unknown 17-year-old piano prodigy into the recording studio thanks to Kickstarter:

You can watch Amanda Palmer nerd out over today's “beautiful new era and golden age” of Internet technology here:

And if you want to see Palmer reflect on her own use of Kickstarter to support her own musical projects, check this out: