*Gestures towards packed NFL stadium* "HE HAS FOUR OF THESE"
January 28, 2014 2:21 PM   Subscribe

Jack Conte at XOXO 2013. Conte, of Pomplamoose (previously), (previously) giving a VERY sharp talk on realistic financing models for artists and creators. Nataly Dawn's successful kickstarter, the creation (and madness) of Jack's 'Pedals' video, why Youtube doesn't work as a funding platform for him anymore and the creation of Patreon are all touched upon.

This talk was previously noted by by Metafilter's gwint, but I thought this one deserved a post of its own. For the interested, there's a whole world of excellent XOXO talks from this past year, including one from the always-excellent Jay Smooth.
posted by AAALASTAIR (12 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
In the future, everything is NPR.
posted by Going To Maine at 2:58 PM on January 28, 2014

This was really cool. Interesting project, interesting guy.
posted by Diablevert at 4:13 PM on January 28, 2014

Burned through that Hyundai money pretty quick.
posted by basicchannel at 4:41 PM on January 28, 2014

Burned through that Hyundai money pretty quick.

Maybe I paid more attention to the later stuff than the earlier stuff...but didn't he say they used much of that for a down payment on a house? Houses generally cost, kind of, a lot.
posted by trackofalljades at 5:29 PM on January 28, 2014

I was just thinking the other day about this talk. Kinda hoping that the Mythbusters would pay him a visit for their recent Star Wars episode.

Myth: you go a little crazy when left to your own devices.

posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:15 PM on January 28, 2014

Houses generally cost, kind of, a lot.

Especially in Marin County.
posted by Dokterrock at 10:51 PM on January 28, 2014

That guy he mentions may have 400,000 subscribers, but that's very different from four sold out football stadiums. I thought he was going to point that out when his ad revenue estimate for 400k hits was only $25. That's less than a single ticket to the football game he's trying to compare to; that filled stadium takes in at least 5 million from the gate and probably double that including concessions and souvenirs. That's why nobody thinks about numbers of hits or likes in terms of how many stadiums they are.

We make a big deal here on Metafilter about the difference between "free" comments on other websites and what happens when you have to pony up a one time fee. Those subscribers/hits would be a lot more meaningful as a measure of profitability if they actually cost users a dime each.

He seems to have arrived at the right conclusion, at least: you have to figure out how to monetize your work if you want to get paid. Virtual "applause" in the form of likes, hits, upvotes, and fan art don't pay the mortgage bills.
posted by ceribus peribus at 12:58 AM on January 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Just how many more years are we going to have to wait before a practical micro-payments system comes into being?

At (say) a buck a pop, which seems to be the minimum for Patreon, I don't think I could support too many creators in the way he has set up, but for a smaller amount, I'd be in. Those 400,000 subscribers - at even just .01 (one penny) each - would still bring $4,000 ... Surely that would be a more practical way for these independent 'content creators' to make a living? Could Bitcoin transfers fill this function one day?
posted by woodblock100 at 1:53 AM on January 29, 2014

This is a little pepsi-blue-ish. I mean, really, is there really that much more to this than an advertisement for patreon from someone with 8 comments? (patreon is, to be fair, is a rather neat idea ... but, still!) I mean he threw in a kickstarter link as a red herring, so good effort! but still!
posted by jannw at 3:29 AM on January 29, 2014

Oh. Nope. Not an ad - just perhaps not a great first post :/ Sorry you didn't enjoy it, jannw.

I've been a somewhat background fan of Pomplamoose and Conte for years now, and a) didn't know what to make of the large haitus (except for working on larger album projects), and b) always assumed that he/they was 'making it' on Youtube ad revenue somehow.

I follow a number of Sponsored channels on Youtube, but since the economics of it is never really discussed (I'm sure contractually stipulated), it was a crazy moment to realize that channels JUST subsisting on youtube money are basically required to release the multiple videos a day they sometimes do (Let's Play videos and the like). For most kinds of content, that's just ridiculously unfeasible.

ceribus peribus - agreed on pretty much all counts. Things like Subbable and Patreon are great for content you know about and want to see continue, but what's so nice about youtube is the ability to find brand new things with great ease - in fact, multiple artists on both of those sites use Youtube as their distribution platform, which leads to a spot of bother when people who have paid to see their work still have to sit through 30-second ads.

I've been saying for a while now that I would LOVE youtube to switch over to a subscription-based service with a charge like Netflix. Zero ads, better administration. It's hard to say how that would effect the community though, but the change would be massive.
posted by AAALASTAIR at 6:17 AM on January 29, 2014

which leads to a spot of bother when people who have paid to see their work still have to sit through 30-second ads.

Nobody has to sit through YouTube ads (unless you're watching on a platform locked down by somebody else).
posted by straight at 7:44 AM on January 29, 2014

Well, I enjoyed it!

I liked Pomplamoose's early work, but drifted away following the release of their first album. I assumed they were still doing their thing -- and, like AAALASTAIR says, making it on Youtube ad revenue -- and it's unfortunate they can no longer do that.

I watched The Lizzie Bennet Diaries recently. There's over a hundred eps, plus various side things, and although it's just people talking at the camera there's obviously a lot of care put into it. Afterwards, I was idly wondering if YT revenue was enough to fund all that, but given each video has only about 400k hits that can't be the case. How do you pay for writers, actors and crew to make professional web videos these days?
posted by Georgina at 3:14 PM on January 29, 2014

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