Patreon(/Soundcloud) - the politics/power of the middleman


That’s a really positive (and interesting) step, since so much these days seems to be about ecosystem lock-in.


Also, Kickstarter is legally registered as a Public Benefit Corporation, if that helps.


I wish the name didn’t seemingly imply being hooked up to an IV, on life support.


How do people here feel about bandcamp subscriptions? Anyone tried it (as artist or subscriber)? I’m thinking about doing one next year and am kind of on the fence about it’s worth, tho I’m fascinated with the idea of it as a kind of medium.


As a consumer I love the subscriptions and would totally subscribe to you :slight_smile:

So far I’m subscribed to Kevin Drumm, Scy1e/@Weird_Ear and Wanda Group. Can recommend all of them!


Thanks @lijnenspel! That’s super encouraging. I signed up for Kevin Drumm page the other day cause I’m a huge fan, but also to see what it was like. I think I want to aim to be slightly more interactive, but we’ll see. I’ll check those others. :slight_smile:


While I’m by no means an established musician in any sort of genre or scene, I launched a Bandcamp subscription this year, as a way to generate some extra income (sometimes it went toward gear purchases, art/music books or art supplies; other times, it went toward paying for groceries or bills when my day-job paychecks weren’t enough) but also as a means of forcing myself to create work on a somewhat regular basis without over-thinking everything. I’ve hit some snags along the way and posted some projects after their intended time-frame, but it’s been a great learning experience and a personal challenge that has had some successful results in my book. While this was just intended to be a 12-month subscription project, I’m intending to end the program following the post of the final release this month, and relaunch it sometime next year alongside announcements for new releases and long-term projects I’ve had in mind.


Well it looks like we were right on the money when we were concerned about Patreon. To be perfectly clear, I wouldn’t be able to tell how much of this “changing fee policy” thing is ultimately bad for creators and patrons (although I do have an idea that this will hurt much more the lower scale creators and ultimately advantage the bigger ones) but what is interesting is to see how, once again, the CEO of a company basically dealing with some people’s income, can come out and tell them, without any discussion and any clear explanation (before the update : without any explanation at all), that the system that sustains them financially is gonna change. Just like that. And like Rodrigo said earlier (I seem to remember), “just take my word for it”. This is terrifying, more than any fee policy change.


Once again venture capital rears its head. As soon as stuff like this happens: you can basically bet that the company will no longer care about the users, but put the desire for more money above all else.

They raised money based on a $450 million dollar valuation, they’re currently earning ~$8m a year, so it’s no surprise that the new bosses are pushing them to increase their income. Basically the same thing that effectively screwed SoundCloud.


Speaking of Patreon, here’s another interesting piece. Apparently only 2% of the creators on the site make more than minimum wage.


i’ve trashed several inappropriate posts about my feelings on patreon.

instead i should just let mr jack conte speak for himself.

if this isn’t a story of staggering privilege, i don’t know what is.


Where do we start with that Conte article?

I’m not convinced by the poor old me attitude seeping through every paragraph. And I’m left wondering who he is trying to persuade?

its made me waaay less likely to use patron as a donor.

Edit: removed some ranty commentary.


Seeing all this stuff kicking in now makes the pretty heavy damage control from earlier in the year make more sense. They didn’t want to kick up a stink with all of this stuff around the corner.

I’m hoping the Kickstarter version gets some traction so that even smaller players (that’s the only people I would be interested in backing anyways) move to something like that. It’s also re-refreshing seeing how ‘lock in’ is not something that they (Drip) are specifically wanting to do.


I’ve been very quick to Kickstart things, even stuff I only feel mild affinity for, but I have so far refused to Patreon anyone.

I don’t like the prevalent idea in Tech right now that everyone (I’m looking at you, Adobe, but everyone else is in to this now too) wants me to pay a subscription rather than a fixed cost. The psychology of this is pretty clear - get people to drain their accounts a little each month rather than a fixed cost. But my problem (for software) is the ‘well, if I stop paying I lose access.’ This is nothing more or less than taking people hostage.

I want to support a band NOW. I want to give them 20 or 30 $ and feel good about it. I don’t want to have to remember to un-subscribe or whatever. Their answer is so pat - just remember to unsubscribe - knowing you won’t.

Yeah, maybe this is a little whiney, but… as I said, I’ve been quick to support lots of other things, and the clear behavioural economics approach of Patreon, no thanks.


I think this quote is pretty telling:

Raviv explains, “We’d rather have our GMV be made up of fewer, but truly life-changed creators rather than a lot of creators making a few dollars.”

Also the whole premise and discussion in this article is… ugh.


20 characters of ugh


Ezra, you pretty much summed up my feelings re: Patreon, Pamplemoose, Palmer/Gaiman, etc, albeit in a much more polite manner than I have in the past few years.


i can’t believe i hadn’t put together that the patreon guy is also the pomplamoose guy. because of course he is.


I realized that just a day before posting this article on the forum, it was like a revelation to me “but of course, it all makes sense now!”


LOL you guys! That’s really funny :smiley:
Yeah…he’s a super slimy. I couldn’t imagine being in a creative relationship with a dude like this. I wonder what the singer is like. I like her voice.