BANDS TO FANS: PATRONIZE ME
With some bands, you just want the hit single. And then there are your favorite bands, where you want instant access to everything they’ve ever done, right now, and until the end of time. For the former, you’ll hit iTunes. For the latter, John Pointer hopes you’ll eventually come to patronism.com.
Patronism gives fans access to an all-in deal from their favorite bands — preferably the band’s entire catalogue, plus exclusive content, and anything the band releases in the future. A Patronism customer picks an artist to support, signs up to pay a monthly stipend (or a one-time fee), and receives access to that artist’s whole enchilada. Imagine a Kickstarter page on steroids. Imagine if Bandcamp had a “buy all” button. Or, as Pointer describes it: “Patronism.com is a Web publishing platform that applies the Radiohead, pay-what-you-feel pricing model to subscriptions, which give fans access to a band’s entire content stream.”
Oooooh, he said the magic word: Radiohead. History, of course, tells us that this is not a bad model to emulate. As everyone by now knows, Thom Yorke told everyone to pay whatevs for In Rainbows, and a survey of 5,000 fans who downloaded the album showed the average price paid was about $6.30. Therefore, everyone should definitely always rely on the kindness of strangers on the internet. Amen.
Of course, Radiohead’s not on patronism.com yet. But Pointer says his participating artists are already seeing results. “Our current musicians are crushing their old merchandise and CD sales with it,” says Pointer. “They are finding that Patronism can provide ten times the revenue of Kickstarter, Bandcamp, CDBaby or any other platform.”
Lance Keltner is one of those artists and says he’s pleased: “Several of my fans have sent me emails commenting on how much they love the site and how it makes them feel more like a partner and less like a customer/consumer.”
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