Creating any kind of video content takes resources – whether that's time, equipment, knowledge, passion or budget. Plenty of the former and a little of the latter will get you on your feet but sooner or later, a lack of available funds will restrict even the most enthusiastic video maker. Although we hear about YouTube success stories everyday, there are hundreds of thousands of channels that may never get picked up by the networks (and may never want to) but strive for enough financial independence to carry on towards their goal of producing something worthwhile that speaks to a willing and engaged audience.
California-based Tubestart have tapped into this need and have launched their own crowdfunding site where benefactors can support creators by subscribing to their projects. The company aims to provide more than 1 million global YouTube creators with the chance to create traditional reward campaigns.
Creators get to keep most of their content publicly available on YouTube (to generate money from Adsense) but can grow via monthly contributions via their Tubestart sponsors. Those sponsors get access to locked down content as well as other perks.
Founder and CEO Josef Holms states that:
YouTube receives billions of monthly visits and comprises a substantial percentage of Web traffic. Yet, the current ad-based monetization model is not serving content creators or their fans well. Especially for niche-genre content creators, subscription-based crowdfunding — where viewers can subscribe for as little as $5 per month — provides the best, most sustainable production and funding model available. With digital media already changing the traditional entertainment production and distribution processes, anyone with a little know-how and a good idea can become a YouTuber with subscription-based crowdfunding.
Tubestart will be available to video creators in North America, Canada and Europe (around 32 countries in total) and crowdfunding campaigns can be set up for between $500 and $500,000. Alternatively, monthly subscriptions are available between $5 to $150. Creators who join Tubestart pay a platform fee of 5%. Here's their explainer video:
There are already some projects up on the site, including this one from the Disneyland Geek who is asking for a ongoing support his Anaheim, CA based videos and is offering exclusive videos and a production credit in return.
Tubestart is only a few days old but it'll be interesting to see how it compares with the other main crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo over the next 12 months.