In July, fan-funding platform Patreon raised a $60m funding round of its own, from institutional investors but also from individuals – including musician Serj Tankian from System of a Down. Two months on, Tankian is now using Patreon as an artist: “creating music, art, films, poetry, pictures and more” as his profile explains.
As is the way on Patreon, Tankian is offering fans several tiers to contribute. $3 a month gives them access to his exclusive monthly video uploads from the studio (music-recording or art) or on tour; a poetry audiobook; discounts on merchandise; and patron-only channels on his Discord forum, among other benefits. His $10-a-month tier adds in live video streams; music downloads and solo-concert recordings; archive performance videos; and ‘loop libraries’ of his solo work, for remixing purposes. The $50-a-month tier throws in a limited-edition signed, numbered lithograph of original artwork, complete with an embedded musical score that can be accessed through an app. And $100 a month gets all of this plus an original painting.
The reason we’re listing it in this detail: as an investor in Patreon, Tankian will surely have got plenty of advice from the company on how to tier his offering for fans. As such, he may be one of the most useful case studies for other artists considering trying Patreon – whether they can paint or not.