Kickstarter was originally started with the idea of supporting artists but has changed to become more of a way to get small startups funded and get the first run of an item going. Patroen is a relatively new site that is starting to fill the gap with the tagline : Be a Patron of the Arts – Support and engage with creators you love.
The key difference is that instead of funding one big project it provides a small continuous (usually monthly) funding to keep a continuous endeavour running. The obvious examples of this are things like bloggers, podcasters or comic writers – those who create on a regular basis. The user sets an amount per item to fund and a monthly maximum payout. Each time a piece of content is produced you get a notification and the content. The user also gets access to view and post on the artists ‘stream’ which is a private page that only the artist and paying users can see. In addition the artist can offer other incentives for higher user payments – this could be extra content, one to one chats or advance notice of upcoming productions.
A good example of this of this is the Daily Tech News Show from Tom Merritt – after finding himself independent recently he started a Patreon campaign asking for a dollar a month and by the time of writing has reached $7302 per month. Its far bigger than most on the site but shows its potential use perfectly.
The site is very interesting to look through and filled with geeky art, podcasts and videos and seems to be slowly picking up steam as it goes. Even if you are not looking to back any of the artists it is potentially a great way to find new interesting things to watch and read.