At a time where the conversation around artist compensation is truly heating up (and being led by T-Swift herself), Expa startup studio has announced it is backing Drip, a platform that lets artists create a paid subscription membership layer to push out special content for their most engaged fans.
Drip was started by Sam Valenti IV and Miguel Senquiz of indie label Ghostly International (Tycho, etc). The idea centers around giving artists a bigger seat at the table when it comes to engaging with fans.
On the flip side, fans get access to exclusive content that artists normally wouldn’t share over traditional social networks.
That could include backstage passes to shows, early drafts of songs, or things as personal as how they brew their coffee in the morning, current reading list, or where they’re traveling.
“The platform is agnostic in terms of what kind of content the artists can share,” said cofounder Sam Valenti IV. “We trust that the artists are creative enough to come up with their own interesting Drips, and we don’t want to limit what type of content that might be, whether it’s video, playlists, soundcloud links, pictures, or anything else”.
Another benefit for creators is that Drip’s recurring payments could provide a more consistent salary for artists. This could give creators some stability (and extra time to create exclusive Drips) in a world where most are struggling for fair pay.
Artists on the platform could be as big as Diplo or could be new Indie artists who are getting their start.
And with today’s launch of the website (the product was originally an app), Drip is expanding beyond musical artists to include writers, visual artists, non-profits, and independent record labels.
Drip has less than 100 total creators at the moment, mainly because the team is focused on maintaining a curated artist selection based on quality of content and a commitment to the platform.
Artists choose all their own pricing, and Drip takes a revenue share (the size of which depends on the type of artist) each month.
The company recently received $1 million in seed funding from Expa and a handful of angel investors, including Brooklyn Bridge Ventures and Collaborative Fund.