Sheffield-based metal band, While She Sleeps have relied on Patreon to fund recording, in a break from industry tradition. Find out more here!
Patreon has been an integral part of content creators and creatives getting the money they need to continue working. Building a strong Patreon campaign, similar to Kickstarter, can boost earnings and help foster genuine relationships with fans.
Loss of Traditional Earning Methods
Although nothing prevents musicians from using Patreon for these reason, established artists tend to rely on more traditional methods. Support from record labels, and revenue generated from ticket and record sales being the key routes. There has been a lot of discussion around the fairness of artist revenue from digital streaming. With major streaming services like Spotify paying a fraction of a fraction per stream, it does not provide a sustainable earning framework.
SoundCloud announced a new User-Centric Payment System earlier in the year, in a bid to move away from the disparaging existing system. A welcome move, but not the mass overhaul many artists and fans are calling for.
Since the live music industry took a significant blow as a result of Covid-19, musicians have lost their largest earning stream in ticket sales. With the return of live music still not certain, bands have had to take matters into their own hands.
While She Sleeps Patreon
While She Sleeps (WSS), a UK based metal band, set up their own Patreon campaign, Sleeps Society, last year. By offering exclusive content and tuition videos to fans based on their selected membership tier, the band hoped to subsidise their earnings whilst providing fans with great content.
“Our goal is to create a sustainable model for artists and creatives, to break from the traditional industry mould by building and developing a true interdependence between the band and fans.”MusicWeek
Since setting up the Sleeps Society, WWS have been able to use membership payments to record their fifth studio album, also named Sleeps Society. The album was released last month. Talking to Radio 1 Newsbeat, guitarist Mat Welsh explained that the 2000 or so members account for just 1% of their Instagram following. He highlighted that it isn’t a case of asking every single fan to subscribe and pay. This makes it a realistic and viable way of funding projects.
If just a small percentage of fans is required to provide a significant amount of revenue, it’s likely we will see more examples of Patreon being used in this way.