The past decade has seen a huge upsurge in peer-produced entertainment shared through Internet-scale platforms. Many people spend far more time on YouTube or Facebook than watching traditional media. Yet the mechanisms by which these creators get paid have lagged. Advertising money is starting to flow through to creators in significant amounts, but if there’s anything to be learned from the old economy of media, it’s that one business model is not enough. Old media was built on a rich ecosystem of business models, with multiple ways for people to get paid. Crowdsourced funding as practiced by Kickstarter and GoFundMe has proven itself as a great model for one-off projects. Patreon has identified a key variant on the crowdsourced funding model. If you want someone to keep producing, subscribe to their work.
— Tim O’Reilly
There are people who have an audience of 100,000 fans. Imagine that: 100,000 weekly visitors who are enjoying your stuff. But with modern advertising CPMs, that’s nowhere near enough to make a living. Yet that’s a football stadium full of people! That should absolutely be enough.
I don’t want to approach this from a startup’s viewpoint. I want to approach this from a creator’s standpoint.
It’s time we start paying for people instead of stuff.
Jack Conte is a musician, filmmaker, half of Pomplamoose, and a cofounder at Patreon, a community and funding platform dedicated to helping creators make a living. Patreon has raised over $47 million to date from a series of venture capital firms and angels, and it’s currently sending millions of dollars per month to creators around the world. As a musician and filmmaker, Jack’s catalog of videos on YouTube has amassed over 120 million views. He used to spend his days in a converted dog kennel/recording studio in Sonoma County but is now in full-time CEO mode at the Patreon Command Center in San Francisco. He also loves working with robots.
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