By Sahil Patel
TubeStart, a new hybrid-crowdfunding platform, is going live today in the hopes of providing YouTube creators with access to an additional revenue stream. The platform offers both the traditional rewards-based crowdfunding model of services like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, as well as a subscription-based offering that — similar to Hank and John Green’s Subbable — gives creators access to an ongoing revenue stream.
Speaking with TubeStart founder and CEO Josef Holm, it’s clear the centerpiece of the platform is its crowdfunding model, which he believes is vital to creators who need an ongoing production budget rather than one lump sum accrued through a single campaign. With that in mind, creators can launch subscription campaigns and receive recurring monthly contributions between $5 and $150.
In exchange, creators can offer exclusive, early access to content via a “content delivery system” put in place by TubeStart. Here’s how this system works: “Say you have a web series, you can offer an exclusive episode of your show only to your crowdfunding supporters,” says Holm. “You can upload that video on YouTube and set it to private. Then just embed that video on our crowdfunding platform, and you ensure that only subscribers can watch that content.”
Not oblivious to the hottest topic of the summer when it comes to the YouTube community, Holm also notes that with TubeStart’s subscription offering, creators will also have access to subscriber names and emails.
TubeStart will be available to all creators in the US, Canada, and Europe. Those electing to run “conventional” campaigns can attempt to raise anywhere from $500 to $500,000. Holm says TubeStart will take a 5% platform fee, similar to other crowdfunding platforms.
Before launch, he says TubeStart had been working with “all of the major MCNs” to drum up interest in the platform. Until today, the company was even offering creators a financial incentive to launch campaigns on the platform: TubeStart would waive the platform fee for any creator who signed up for an ongoing/subscription campaign before August 20.