There are a lot of unpaid Youtube channels, web comic authors, musicians, podcasts, and other creators that provide us netizens with quality content for free. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a service that functioned like Kick Starter except for on going works rather than one shot projects? Yes, yes it would and now there is! Patreon is a new service founded in 2013 by Jack Conte and Sam Yam. Content creators can register accounts and receive donations from fans at regular intervals. This differs from say monthly Paypal installments in that Patreon actively monitors the output of the creator so that you only pay if the creator actually publishes work that week or that month. Payment can be a set amount per item released with a monthly cap or a flat payment per week or per month. It also allows creators to offer special features to their patrons such as commissions, inclusion in regularly scheduled Skype chats, and exclusive content.

While none of this is particularly new, donations to creators are as old as street performers, this marks another major step toward a new paradigm in media creation and distribution. Computers and the internet make accessing music and video trivial and as the many write ups on this site about piracy attest many noders care about the future of media distribution and the problems inherent in the existing market. Patreon represents a major step in the evolution of art and distribution and a real way to engage in dollar voting.

See it and judge for yourself here.


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