Another Example Of The Patron Donation Model For Content Creation

from the getting-some-traction dept

Among the many potential business models that people have suggested for the entertainment industry, other than existing ones that are increasingly obsolete, is a return to a “patron-style” model of entertainment creation, with a more modern twist. The idea is pretty simple. Someone decides to create some type of content, but only after they’ve raised enough money to do so. They get their fans to contribute money, until there’s enough to pay for the content — and then the content is released for free. The skeptics’ response, of course, is that freeloaders will never pay — but that misses the point. The creator of the content doesn’t care about the freeloaders. He or she has made the money for the content. Besides, it’s possible that they can give something extra for those who do contribute. There have been some successful experiments with this type of model — with the most prominent being the artist once again known as Prince, who wouldn’t release a certain album until he’d raised the necessary money. Clive Thompson has another example of this in action, though he over-estimates how “new” an idea this is. In this case, the folks who did it called it “the ransom model,” which is a bit misleading, but it was for the production of a board game. In some sense, this model is more along the lines of the way most people get paid for work. It is, literally, pay for work. In a normal job, you get paid to do a specific job — and once that job is over, you get paid to do something else. It’s only in the somewhat distorted content creation world where many people seem to think that you just have to do the work once, and you get paid every time it’s used.

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Comments on “Another Example Of The Patron Donation Model For Content Creation”

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Tim (user link) says:

No Subject Given

> It’s only in the somewhat distorted content creation world where many people seem to think that you just have to do the work once, and you get paid every time it’s used.

No it’s not; this is how a software or consultancy firm should operate. Say you’re in the business of installing a particular kind of machine for clients – such as a linux firewall/router/mail/name-server combo box. There is customization / tailoring involved, which it makes sense for you to do only once and then clone many times, balancing the cost of the time-investment to set up your distribution of choice once, the cost of each box to set up (tiny), and profit margins, such that the more boxes you sell beyond a given point, is pure profit because the work is all already done.

Beck says:

Re: No Subject Given

Tim, you are confusing code re-use with residual payments. They are not the same.

A software company hires programmers to write a software package. The company pays the programmers for their time. The company then sells multiple copies of the software. The programmer does not get paid each time the software is sold. They were already paid by the hour for their work.

A record company hires musicians and song writers to create an album. The company then sells multiple copies of that album. The musicians and writers receive a payment for each album sold. The payments continue indefinitely, for as long as the album is sold.

The same thing applies to television production companies, who hire actors to perform in their shows. The actors continue to receive payments every time the show is sold and shown on TV.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: getting the cash

This reminds me of another idea that was popular a hundred years ago or so: everyone works for free, everyone takes the stuff they need for free. Sounds great, right? Turns out, that doesn’t work, and just about everyone outside of Havana and Berkeley already knows that. The Berkeley kids are always the last to know.
It’s really not rocket science. Under this system, I would always wait until the album I want is out so I can get it for free. There’s no reason to pay. Someone else will pay and I’ll get it for free. And, guess what, 99.9% of people are like me. So nothing will ever come out.
Sure, you can offer me something *extra* for having paid. But… wouldn’t it be easier for me just to buy that “extra” thing, if I really want it. And if I don’t want it, then why would I pay for it? This idea is, to say the least, near-sighted.
And… as far as the successful experiments go, did Prince release his album for free? I didn’t think so.
Turns out, not every industry needs to work the same way. Musicians get royalties. Waiters get tips. Stock traders get bonuses. Some people get paid upfront. Some get paid afterwards. Sometimes there’s a down payment and a payment when the work is done. Why would anyone think there’s a right way and a wrong way to pay for every type of item, service or idea? Music is nothing like software for many more reasons than one. Even though both come on CD’s sometimes.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: getting the cash

There isn’t a “right way or a wrong way,” but there might just be an unsustainable way — and the way the recording industry currently works certainly looks to be unsustainable.

Besides, it’s kind of amusing that you say there’s no right or wrong way right after telling me that this idea (which has actually worked) could never work.

Everyone always says that “nothing will come out” with these new business models — but there’s been no proof of that yet.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 getting the cash

OK, I stand corrected. What I meant to say is that there’s no right way to get paid. There’re definitely wrong ways. I didn’t mean to say there were not. If you install a new transmission for someone, it’s probably a bad idea to ask them to pay you 12 years from now. They might forget. That’s definitely a wrong way.

The person who is suggesting that something unlikely is possible is the one that needs to furnish proof for their theories to be considered. The party that says “Gee, that’s unlikely, we’ve seen no evidence that what you’re saying is remotely possible” needs to offer no proof, since they’re not the ones suggesting something outlandish.

If someone tells me that mars might be made entirely of chicken nuggets, I’ll probably say, no, dude, that’s unlikely to be true. I wouldn’t have to furnish any proof that it’s not true to the chicken nugget guy. He’s the one that would have to prove his theory to me. Since my position is the generally accepted one (no chicken on Mars), I do not have to offer any proof.

However, there’s been more than plenty of proof that if there’s no incentive for me to part with my money, I will not part with my money.

Kathleen Maloney says:

utopia as free or big brother

And so we arrive at our lack of freedom and it is related to the concept or miscalculation of what is free. Dept is not credit and eternity is not forever in the real world where human beings need fresh air, real real food, natural sleep, clean water, and land capable of sustaining plant life to prevent real food scarcity and soil erosion etc. And the energy the free net offers is unsustainable and a one way suicide to mars is fools gold.

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