Amanda Palmer launches Patreon page, reaches $13k per “thing” after just 12 hours
Amanda Palmer first mentioned her interest in crowdfunding service Patreon back in October 2014 and yesterday the artist finally launched her page on the service. After just 12 hours close to 14,000 people have already responded by choosing to support her for each “thing” that she makes to the tune of $13,000 in total. For $3 per ‘thing’ her fans can access a digital download of her creations, for $5 they will be part of a “random surprises group”, the support levels go all the way up to $1,000 which includes a much more personal approach (phone calls and even dinner…).
Patron’s approach is long-term, allowing artists, podcasters, writers, to build a relationship with fans which is akin to a subscription model. This means that the creator knows in advancehow much money his/her fans are willing to shell out for each creation or on a monthly basis and can adjust the budget accordingly. It differs from other crowdfunding platforms in that the commitment is open-ended and is not linked to a specific project. Palmer states that she decided to charge users per “thing” instead of per month to avoid feeling guilty for not releasing anything:
"what if i'm traveling and touring and/or taking off time for three months in a ro
w and don't have output to share? i'd feel guilty.”
This is a sentiment echoed by a number of artists who feel uncomfortable with the idea of having to release a constant stream of content when creative output is rarely consistent in volume.
Even though Palmer has been undeniably successful since leaving her label in 2008, in the blurb that accompanies her page she makes it clear that life isn’t easy even for the musician with the most successful crowdfunded project ever on Kickstarter, and admits that her pay-as-you-want model sometimes only generates a few dollars per month through BandCamp and her own site. She writes:
“now, backstory: i've been flailing (often happily, for sure) since i left my label in 2008. self-releasing and distributing vinyl and CDs isn't easy, and isn't always super-profitable. giving my music away for free online has been an adventure, but not as profitable as i expected. you may be surprised to know that "theater is evil", even though it had 25,000 backers and was given nothing but rave reviews in the press, sold very few copies in stores. that wound up sinking me financially...even though it was the best record i'd ever made."
Later on, she adds,
“i just want to MAKE STUFF AND PUT IT OUT. and get paid, and then keep going"
Palmer also mentions that her output on the platform may not be limited to music, stating that it may include music videos, podcasts and perhaps even visual art.
The artist last year released a very well-received book called “The Art of Asking” which, ironically, is likely to have made her more money than any individual album she has released over the past few years.