In the past, many independent artists of all kinds – filmmakers, musicians, writers, comic artists, painters, animators – primarily survived on the successful sales of their craft. Unfortunately, sales may not be enough for such artists in which their dreams may have to be put on hold just to survive.
However, that has all changed with Patreon, a crowdfunding site among the art community (active artists and supportive patrons who invest funds for said artists) that is the best thing to happen to the commercial side of artists’ careers since deviantART. And now they are about to get bigger with the acquirement of Subbable.
According to Forbes, the San Francisco-based Patreon announced it has acquired the video subscription service, Subbable, which was founded by Green Brothers, Hank (famous YouTube star) and John (best-selling author of The Fault in Our Stars). Through the consolidation of both platforms, both Patreon and Subbable creators are expected to generate a combined total of $25 million from fans this year alone. That is a major jump since the amount is about double what both companies raised by themselves in 2014.
To further understand just how big Patreon and Subbable to artists and YouTube channels are respectively, the former consists of 10,000 artists, which include famous musical artist Pentatonix, comedian group Kinda Funny, and digital artist Sakimi Chan. The latter produces popular YouTube channels such as SmarterEveryDay and C.G.P. Grey. Subbable was also the fundraising platform for the Green brothers’ famous YouTube channel, SciShow.
What makes both Patreon and Subbable unique is the fact almost all the content are given away. In that sense, it was questioned why people would voluntarily invest more than $2 million a month for content that would otherwise be free. Jack Conte, co-founder of Patreon, provides an honest answer.
“Because they’re not paying for the content. They’re paying for the people. People always ask, ‘Should music be free?’ But music is already free. The question is: ‘How do we pay people?'”
Such a business model is very rare in the business world, since most business-types constantly think on transaction: people get paid for what they put in. Patreon and Subbable follow a thought process that rewards transformation: people get paid for their potential.
It should be noted that even though Patreon has acquired Subbable, it is more a move to help Subbable creators. Apparently, Subbable’s payment processor Amazon Payments informed 12,464 subscribers they need to reauthorize their contributions by June 1. This is all due to Amazon migrating to a new payment system. The fear was that subscribers would not re-authorize those payments leading to massive attrition.
Eventually, Hank Green reached out to Jack Conte for advice in which Conte suggested that Subbable merge into Patreon. Patreon would be tasked to help Subbable subscribers transition to their payment system as well as become the fundraising platform for the Green Brother’s YouTube channels. On the other hand, the Green Brothers have agreed to become Patreon advisers.
Another cool thing that Patreon is doing for the Subbable creators (who now have Patreon creator accounts) is to match up to $100,000 in new pledges to them. Patreon is also asking their patron community to spread the word, rally other patrons, all to help send real resources to the deserving creators previously from Subbable. On a partnership and business perspective, the matching was made to help offset the blow Subbable creators might receive from attrition.
[Featured Image via Patreon Screen Capture, Post Image via Patreon]