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


I would def like to be able to fine-tune rates.

So far not many subscribers. I’ll check back in here with my experiences later in the year cause I expect there will be more people once the releases progress. I have noticed a big uptick in people following my bc page recently fwiw


FWIW I cancelled my Soundcloud subscription for this year. They recently switched to their new OPUS codec which defaults to 64kbps, which IMO is totally inadequate, no matter how good the codec is. There’s ways around it with different browser plugins and extensions, but you can’t expect or force all listeners to install something like that. All my future music will be on Bandcamp.


I think I’ll continue to use soundcloud to post sketches i just want to share with a couple people.

Bandcamp for finished works, for sure.


Aye. fwiw a monthly sub option for yours and I would sign up in an instant! But, we’ll see if that is introduced at any point. I’m tempted to try setting one up again on mine to get some kind of forward planning on my releases. It’s all a bit slapdash at the moment.


It was really hard to know which pricing to choose. In the end I opted for the yearly mostly based on what I’d seen others do, but I also decided to do no or few exclusive releases so that someone who didn’t want to subscribe yearly could still garb a track or two that they liked. Seemed like an okay compromise. Plus going full exclusive was never something I was really interested in anyway.


Didn’t want to make a new thread since it’s fairly relevant to this thread, but “well well well, how the turntables”.

Patreon CEO says the company’s generous business model is not sustainable as it sees rapid growth

So after a bit of a bumpy year with lots of high profile creators leaving the platform (Sam Harris being a big one, but also a big dip in sex work related creators), it looks like Patreon is starting to feel the VC burn.

Interesting for various reasons, but it puts a different light on the whole “middleman” brand of capitalism where (potential) bias is not only a problem, but also (overly) capitalistic sprawl too.

I haven’t followed any of the stuff about Soundcloud (I don’t really use it), but I remember a similar thread on this a while back.

Relevant (short) article:

Interesting twitter thread here too:

I didn’t really use my Patreon very much and deleted it early last year and haven’t looked back. I wonder if a more open/egalitarian alternative will pop up, but for me the big concern is that payment processors are the ones really holding the cards. I remember from the video of Jack Conte initially talking about the problem waay earlier in this thread, he cites the rules from payment processors being a big deciding factor in certain things. In that case, specifically the sex work-related bannings.

Is it even possible to have a platform that isn’t bound by the (fairly arbitrary and normatively bound) rules of payment processors? Subscribestar popped up as an alternative but was quickly shut out by Paypal (I didn’t follow this story really, but only include it as a point of reference). It’s a shame that crypto stuff has turned into wild west speculation/investment/capitalism rather than an open payment processing methodology.

Regardless of how one feels about free speech, “free speech”, sex work, etc… the fact that corporate overlords are the ones making these decisions for us is pretty scary.

In this case, it seems like capitalism is as capitalism does and Patreon is under the thumb of the problem it created for itself, so no tears shed from me, but only by the grace that it was not as greedy or effective as it wanted it be did this problem come up at all.


not the same but similarly airbnb another form of sharing economy? is causing huge problems in Athens and Barcelona where rent prices are so high that local people can’t find affordable houses. Whole buildings are being bought from corporations to be rent out to tourists and the local community is “forced” to change place and life…


107m dollar investment from josh kushner

man, there are a couple of people who i would really like to support on there, but some psychic distrust of the platform kept me from doing it. this must have been the source. this fucking family. they already have my company health insurance and my shadow government. why


It’s interesting that kickstarter also walked back that drip platform late last year before it even went public.

Yet again, bandcamp remains the only one of these sites that seems to work half decently.


And once again, let’s remember they’re the only not venture capital backed company we’ve talked about here. If there’s a problem to pinpoint, it’s localisation seems pretty straightforward.


content creators of the world, unite!


first step (if I may respectively suggest), stop saying “conent creators”.

that phrase gives me shivers. the violent minimalization of creative work (videos, music, art, etc) into mere “content” to oil the huge websites owned by even bigger companies.

I’ve never given Patreon any thought, half because I’ve jettisoned all notions of making any sort of money at all from my creative output (a personal decision that has been nothing but affirming and positive for me), and half because I think that specific model of regular payments would taint the things I make. I’d rather have the monetary support thrown my way come through album / art publication sales…obviously that’s a dated wish though, and again financial gain isn’t a part of what I do as a musician / artist / whatever anymore.


It is possible but doubtful that Patreon is failing because the likes of Sam Harris are leaving. Most businesses fail. Even moreso, businesses built on untested business models tend to fail. Most start-ups that appear to be successful are burning through investor cash to create the illusion of value, and it’s very rare that they survive past that phase.

It’s tempting to see narratives, especially when they line up with one’s own political leanings. I find this site useful when I get too caught up thinking things make sense:


my phrasing was deliberate (if tongue in cheek), i was using their language—for exactly the parellel you find icky. if content farmers are breaking their backs to the machines oiled, they need a union as much as the literal machine oilers.

i absolutely hate the term and shutter to think of myself as a content creator—but i also wonder if that is how they win.


ah, well played then, haha! it’s a gross term.

I have (as one would probably guess lol) a lot of thoughts and opinions on how the current online paradigm affects and influences creative output negatively, but it always ends up with me suggesting complete online decentralization and it’s a bit early for that


Someone just liked that comment I quoted (above^) so I got to see it again (joy)…I just want to say that it’s 1.5 years later and I’m cringing right now. So much has happened in these past few years…
I attributed too much good will towards people that were revealed to have deeply disturbing agendas (Peterson, Harris, Pinker, even Rogan) just to hear them out. I was just slow on the uptake. Ugh. Cringe.
Anyway, when you know better you do better.


Kickstarter is actively developing whatever is going to replace their platform (in partnership with the XOXO festival people, who are good people for sure).

KS is a public benefit corporation, so they at least won’t be letting the alt-righters own them, but sex workers will still be out in the cold…


exactly haha, no gain, only pain… this was an interesting read i stumbled upon (on the other end of the “power” ladder)

i think the best option is if everyone simply stops releasing music and only perform live, maybe people will start to go out and occasionally dance as well? that way, you as an artist can control the fidelity of the experience :wink: (majority of listening is still in headphones for music mastered for speakers…)


I knew it! Everybody stop hitting “record”! An angel strangles a kitten every time you do!

(only half joking)


plus, the “recording” industry also clutter our tools and restrict live workflow with this single-mindedness :slight_smile: