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A crowdfunding site for ongoing patronage, rather than big projects


Arcana
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I heard of this today and thought that some members of this community might be interested in checking it out. I haven't personally used it (neither as a patron nor an artist) so I don't know how well the model works, but it's a very new service and might be worth checking out for members of this community, given the community's general interest in independent artists and bands.

It's called Patreon http://www.patreon.com

It is basically kind of like KickStarter, but more about ongoing support rather than supporting a big huge project with a deliverable. So rather than giving $20 or $40 with the intention of getting some big album when it's done, you're giving $1 or $10 as a "thank you, keep doing cool stuff" to the artist.

Here's an article explaining some of the concepts behind the idea as well from the founder:

http://www.techdirt.com/blog/casestudies/articles/20130510/00083123031/cool-new-platform-supporting-artists-patreon-jack-conte.shtml

Once again, I haven't actually used this service but I thought it might be of interest to this community. If you do try it out and there are good things or bad things you should definitely let me know and keep us posted.

Edited by Arcana
P.S. I hope that this is permitted, as it's a crowdfunding site, but it's not an existing project nor is it Kickstarter....
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i say this with all due respect but from reading the info on the site, this is essentially a 'hey thanks for the donations that will go straight into my pocket and i will give you nothing in return for' type deal.

giving your money away for nothing seems like a fool's errand to me

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This does seem a little like charity, but there are many artists out there who are very solid and produce frequently.

Besides, if Kickstarter's shown us anything, it's that people out there are willing to pay a lot of money for nothing already.

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If Kickstarter is venture capitalism for the masses, this is patronage for the masses. Sounds fine with me. I don't think I could ever do it, I'm filled with too much doubt over the quality of my music. But obviously it's working for other people.

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The funding of artists (or more capitalistically, "content creators") is an ever-changing weather pattern. This discussion/reflection wouldn't be complete without this:

I think a lot of us musicians focus a lot on file sharing and plummeting record sales as some sort of tectonic watershed moment in the history of music. However, when it dawned on me that selling recorded music is only a tiny 100-year chapter in the history of music, this tectonic shift felt a lot smaller to me, and I started reconsidering what it meant to be a musician.

It's one thing to make music for visual media, to teach music, create music-making tools, put on a big show/production, etc -- those are all things that are much easier to construe and trade as commodities. But music, by itself, is something very interpersonal, in my estimation.

So instead of criticizing these artists of exploiting their fans like naive investors, look at them as engaging in a more personal relationship with the people who value their work. In fact, I think that's the only way these kinds of artistic endeavors and crowdsourcing platforms will flourish -- by encouraging more of a relationship between artists and fans. Amanda Palmer's talk is a good reflection on this, even if she's a bit of a unique case.

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