Jack Conte is an Internet musician who became an Internet sensation and now, thanks to Patreon, he's an Internet entrepreneur. Patreon is a fundraising site that is a bit different than your run of the mill Kickstarters or Trumpstarters. Instead of collecting one lump sum for, say, and album or song, fans can subscribe to the artists and receive "patrons-only" streams of their work. Conte made his latest song "Pedals" available as the first product on the site. It is available here. He founded the company with Sam Yam, an ecommerce pro and founder of AdWhirl. The system is similar to the patronages of old where an artist was hired to work for a certain client for a period of time. In Contes's case, he's asking for $1 per YouTube video he puts up (we're assuming, of course, he's not going to take some shots of his gerbils and stick them up every five minutes) and you can unlock other rewards if you pay a bit more. "The other players in the crowd funding space aren't providing regular, consistent income to content creators," he said. "There are literally tens of thousands of people who create regular content on the web and have millions of followers. Kickstarter is not appropriate for a blogger who writes weekly articles - he doesn't need a big chunk of money, and he has no big project to use it for. He needs monthly income, and Patreon brings crowd funding away from singular one-off projects and into the realm of regular content creation." The pricing differs from project to project and patrons can cancel at any time. Conte has also brought in his amazing songwriting buddy, Nataly Dawn for the launch today. Conte thought about the hundreds of creators and realized they weren't getting paid. "I told my college roommate, Sam Yam, about the idea, and he jumped on it immediately. Two monthly later, we're launching, and I'm going to be the guinea pig user, releasing my EP for free on the site," he said. "Patrons who sign up are given benefits in exchange for their generosity, like monthly Google Hangouts with the top patrons, presale concert tickets, access to the artist's stream (like a Facebook feed where fans and artists can post and share media, comments, etc.), or anything an artist is willing to give back." I love this idea - it's not much money, it lets folks monetize their fan bas in a non-creepy way, and it's produced by one of the nicest Internet musicians I've had the pleasure of meeting. Conte is the opposite of Donald Trump. Patreon is open now for patrons and artists alike. I intend to use it to fund my gerbil video series there so get your dollars ready. You can see the wild video for his latest song above and a making-of video below.
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