Looking to add a new fundraising facet to its crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter is launching Drip, a subscription service that will allow fans to provide recurring financial support directly to their favorite creators.
Kickstarter offers creators the ability to solicit funding for specific projects. But Drip is designed to fund "ongoing creative practice. Kickstarter is for projects, Drip is for people,” Kickstarter founder and chairman Perry Chen wrote in a blog post about the service.
Drip launced November 15 by invitation-only, “to kick the tires,” Chen said. Eventually, Drip will add more artists and features in the coming year.
At launch Drip will feature a number of veteran Kickstarter campaigners from across the arts invited to be a part of the service. Among the initial Drip members are such publishing figures and ventures as comics artist/publisher Spike Trotman, Well Read Black Girl founder Glory Edim, Book/zine publisher Microcosm Publishing, Portland mobile library service Street Books, and letter press publisher Thornwillow Publishing.
A Kickstarter spokesperson said Drip is designed for “continuous funding” of an artist. Fans can pledge an ongoing monthly financial commitment to an artist in exchange for specially created content, behind the scenes information, special access or other efforts crafted to reward supporters.
Kickstarter charges the artist a 5% fee on the subscription payments, and its credit-card processor charges 3% plus $0.20 per transaction.
The newly launched fundraising platform is reminiscent of services like Flattr, Steady, and Patreon, subscription services that also allow fans to pledge continuous financial support to artists.
However, Chen said, Drip has several differences from Patreon: creators can remain independent and leave Drip or add other subscription platforms. An artist's data and content is portable. “Creators will be able to export their data and content, and we’ll even help creators securely transfer subscription and payments information to other subscription platforms” Chen said.
Kickstarter is actually relaunching Drip. The service was founded in 2011 by the record label Ghostly International as a way to solicit support for musicians, but was scheduled to shut down in February 2016. A month later the service was acquired by Kickstarter.
Since that time Chen said that Kickstarter has redesigned Drip to be “both separate from and complementary to Kickstarter.”
“Since we launched Kickstarter, our designs have become the standard template for funding across the web,” Chen said. “It’s been exciting to have a clean slate to reconsider how to present creators and their work. We wanted to create something that felt light and kept creators — not Drip — as the focus.”