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Topic of the Day: "Subscription Services"... Bandcamp, Patreon, Drip

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  • Topic of the Day: "Subscription Services"... Bandcamp, Patreon, Drip

    posted originally to ello this morning - but totally fine to discuss here and not there....

    Topic of the Day: "Subscription Services"...

    Bandcamp Subscription
    What do you think? Have you used them? Are they good for the fans? Are they good for the Artists?

    It's back on my radar this morning because Bandcamp just emailed me about setting one up for my artist page.

    I thought this part of their Subscription Details Page was interesting:

    Is this yet another crowdfunding platform?

    A few years ago we noticed many artists using Bandcamp to fulfill the digital piece of crowdfunding campaigns, so we asked them whether they wanted crowdfunding built right into Bandcamp. Their response surprised us. As they described months spent focusing on campaign rewards, the word we heard most often was “unsustainable.” At the same time, our own experience contributing to crowdfunded projects was that we were motivated by a desire to help an artist we loved, not by a wish for a t-shirt, signed plastic disc, or potpourri sachet. Our hunch is that your biggest fans are less interested in funding studio time or mastering for just one album than they are in supporting you in a sustainable way. Speaking personally, we don’t want you to knit us a beer koozie, we want you to keep making more great art.

    Another one that's been around is Patreon.

    I don't see a lot of musicians getting much backing (unless you're @amandapalmer - and she's awesome more power to her). But if you look for ambient musicians - you won't find many.

    There are cool projects there. For example - awesome Elloer @kseniaanske has supporters on her Patreon - $157 / month right now. She's a writer (follow her - I love her posts).

    Finally we have Drip.

    Drip was created by Ghostly International (fans of ambient techno, Tycho, and a ton of great music will know them well). Another way for you to subscribe to an artist and get exclusive content from them.

    You can subscribe to someone, for example Christohper Willits for $5 per month.

    Or They Might Be Giants Dial a Song... 52 weeks / 1 song a week...

    @atomtm has 95% of his massive catalog online:

    owner / artist
    relaxed machinery - organic .: ambient :. techno
    open creative community:

  • #2
    We are considering it for Synphaera Records...still in the planning stages. Stay tuned...

    That said, I think it's a great idea and I'm pretty confident bandcamp will make it work. :tu:
    S1gns Of L1fe
    Patreon | Synphaera | exosphere | YouTube


    • #3
      Baboom seems to be taking off too. Looks like everybody is after a piece of that action.
      Whatsisname's Little Fluffy Clouds | Campsite | Hearthis | SeismicTC | Twitter | Ello | Youtube


      • #4
        It seems like a good thing for semi and full time professionals.

        Though most who listen to my work are composers themselves. Broke-ass composers. :biggrin:

        Though it doesn't cost anything to put it up....


        • #5
          It appears that subscription services is a sign of the times. At 55, I struggle with the concept. Over the years I have paid into subscription services for things like music and books, and I find that, after a while, I get fed up with that service, mainly due to lack of interesting content, and cancel. So I would prefer the "old fashioned" model of, if I see (or hear) something I like, I buy that one thing, an album or book, in order to support the creator.

          That, of course, is speaking as an "end user."

          As an artist, I could never imagine anyone bothering to subscribe to anything I do... Not if it costs hard earned cash anyway. That is based on how my art has been received over the last fifteen years.

          I agree with aoVI's comment, "Though most who listen to my work are composers themselves."
          >]:| ~ > Bandcamp < ~ |:| ~ > SoundCloud < ~ |:| ~ > YouTube < ~ |:[<


          • #6
            Originally posted by seismic1 View Post
            Baboom seems to be taking off too. Looks like everybody is after a piece of that action.
            Hmmm... I thought I'd have a look at Baboom.

            As an artist, I'm not sure that I like it. I tried to upload a song and for some reason it does not appear on my page. In my artist area it shows as being "draft" but I can't find out what that means.

            I don't want to sell my stuff... So I'm not prepared to fill in any payment details, but it may be my incomplete account details that are causing my song to not appear on my artist page.

            Looks like I'm stuck with SoundCloud, which is so easy to use...
            >]:| ~ > Bandcamp < ~ |:| ~ > SoundCloud < ~ |:| ~ > YouTube < ~ |:[<


            • #7
              Drip sounds interesting. I'm so very sick of Soundcloud - it seems like the only reason i'm putting material up there is so that I can link to it in my blog.
              I was sizing up the Bandcamp subscription thing to see if there was a way to make it work for me. My initial thought was to setup a subscription for the creation of an album. The idea would be to produce one track a week and then whittle it down to 12 for a final release. The subscribers get access to all 52 tracks. While in theory it sounds like a fun idea I could not work out how to make it financially worthwhile to subscribe to. $5 a month sounds reasonable but the Bandcamp FAQ highlights the problem that monthly payments attract credit card fees x12 rather than once. A yearly subscription of $50 or more is I think too much to expect anyone to pay.
              So i've given up on the idea for now.
              Makrotulpa - SKON - Blog - Soundcloud


              • #8
                Speaking personally, I can't think of anyone who I'd subscribe to in that way. I'm too scattershot, enjoy someones work then get easily distracted by someone else and forget about my previous crush.

                Don't think it would make much difference to the people I do follow over many years either; they have their careers built up the traditional way and I'll still support them by buying their records etc. What that means to up and coming artists I've no idea. Screwed I guess.
                Latest release: never to be repeated

                Hearthis | Soundcloud


                • #9
                  It is the best of times, it is the worst of times...

                  End user viewpoint: I'd subscribe for around $5/$10 a month to certain artists (many of whom are AO members) if I got a constant stream of music. I subscribe to Hulu, so I'd consider a subscription to music as the same thing - a form of online entertainment. I've been spending more time in the evenings listening to Soundcloud playlists while reading (OMG READING WHAT'S THAT :eek, so if there were decent exclusive content.. yeah.. I could go for it.

                  Artist viewpoint: Man, that's going to be a LOT of work! :workingout:In order to keep subscribers happy, I'd need to have a pretty steady stream of new content each month.. and not being a full-time pro, this means spending a pile of time in the studio in my "copious spare time" cranking out exclusive tracks and artwork to satisfy my subscribers. Ouch!And how to balance the subscription fee vs. subscriber expectations? Will people paying $5 a mointh expect 4 new tracks? Five? More? Will $2 a month be worth the effort I have to put out? Does this really make any sense? I'm not sure...

                  I'm not too worried about "will anyone subscribe" as I still get a couple of sales a month on my last album. Someone out there is crazy enough to buy my music!! :eek:

                  I do agree this would be a sure win for a semi-pro or pro musician, but for your average part-time evenings-and-weekends muso, not so much.

                  Since I have nothing else going on in my life but my day gig (heh) I have time to throw at things like this if I can gain more focus.. but.. still, dunno.

                  It's definitely a good idea, regardless of my personal situation.
                  Home Page:
                  Authors Den:


                  • #10
                    Hmmm... my reaction to this is decidedly mixed. On the one hand, a way for broke nobodies like me to actually get some kind of regularly re-occurring remuneration for doing what I actually enjoy doing sounds great.

                    On the other- I am loath to reward/encourage the shiny-eyed eager-beaver types who seem to be breathlessly pushing "subscription-based monetization models" into every possible place they might fit, whether it's software,
                    toaster ruffles, quantum diuretics, whatever. I have a curmudgeon's outlook on things financial; so often, a nascent power-to-the-people concept or movement is invaded and destroyed from within, by those crafty and savage enough to wear the right costumes and say the right words, for as long as it takes to turn it into yet another way for the rich to become richer.

                    I always "beware the go-getter in mellow clothing".

                    So, to make a long opinion short(er), part of me thinks "This would be wonderful if it really worked", while another part of me retorts "This will be taken over by a**holes in very short order, if it wasn't actually promulgated by them in the first place".

                    And so it goes.
                    "Critics can’t stand these records, by and large, because in their search for eternal adolescence, they still want it all to be spunky and manic and witty."
                    -Brian Eno


                    • #11
                      One of my favourite words - leverage - not.

                      I often hear conversations between people at work on the subject of music, and how they have managed to spend no money at all on it over the last 3-5 years, whilst accumulating vast mp3-based collections on their various devices, leads me to the conclusion that paid streaming will not catch on. I do know one guy (non-musician) at work who does subscribe to various services, but I think he is the exception that proves the rule.

                      I have 2 problems with the subscription idea.

                      1) The service that you sign up to can often mutate into something else before you know it.

                      2) I have next to no free time to listen to them anyway. KVR and this place keep me occupied. My own sonic excursions take up the slack.
                      Whatsisname's Little Fluffy Clouds | Campsite | Hearthis | SeismicTC | Twitter | Ello | Youtube


                      • #12
                        I'll have to look into this. Initially it strikes me as strange. I've been thinking about micropayments recently... 5$ a month already strikes me as quite high. - This would be like picking my darling producers and deciding to patronize them ;). I can see that it's a good idea to support what's dear to your heart, but I rather see myself supporting five artists 1$ a month than one artist 5$ a month. That'd be 60$ a year...that's a lot of records/cds of one single artist EVERY year. But we'll see how this plays out. Obviously those will fare best that have a-grade product & manage to make their customers feel good about themselves & their contribution. Or could one term it charity? But then I still spent a considerable amount via the old-fashioned channels of distribution....vinyl, used cds & downloads.

                        P.S. Just to add, all these efforts are commendable, as long as artists stand to profit more immediately from their work - I think streaming platforms like spotify are a warning in that regard.
                        Last edited by phoenstorm; 09-18-2015, 02:34 AM.


                        • #13
                          does someone have personal experiences with as an artist?
                          Last edited by Ahornberg; 09-25-2015, 02:52 PM.


                          • #14
                            so I set up an account on

                            I found out that uploading .flac files is not possible and there are major timimg problems with large .aiff/.wav files.
                            so the only way to go is .mp3 :dunno: