Local Artist Creates Site to Give Fans Access to Music
by Katy McIntosh
The newest idea in music comes straight from Austin. Local musician John Pointer recently launched Patronism.com, a website designed to connect fans and artists by mixing patronage with a subscription.
Don’t let the name throw you. Patronism is neither a patriotic campaign nor old-fashioned patronage. Pointer and his team have created a symbiotic relationship for artists and fans, allowing fans to decide how much they want to pay to enjoy great music.
“The innovative thing,” Pointer says, “is that this is a cross between the renaissance act of patronage re-created as a subscription.”
This site, currently in its beta phase, was launched in September 2010 by Pointer, who acts as the company’s CEO and Dave Kuster, the chief technology officer. It currently features 25 artists and 100 uploading content, with more than 200 patrons and 150 additional artists waiting in the wings. Even though the site is “for benefit,” 85% of the money sent by patrons goes directly to the artist.
Patronism has been a long time coming, according to Pointer. As his father told him during a 2003 discussion about the state of the music industry, “Artists have never made a living; they have patrons.” This idea took hold in Pointer’s mind.
In 2009, he launched a rudimentary version of the site to test his theory.
“I wondered what would happen if I sold access to content,” Pointer says. “What happened was more massive than I imagined.”
Patronism allows fans to pay what they want monthly in return for total access to a band.
“Fans want engagement, not just music,” Pointer says. “This gives fans the power to not just find compelling music, but also to fund it.”
This model gives fans exclusive content, but also enables musicians to pay the bills. Pointer’s Patronism bio is a good example of that model: “While I’m compulsive about serving you new music and improving the community we live in, let’s be honest … it’ll also help me eat.”
How to Get Involved:
Become a Patron
While you can listen to some of the tracks online, you can get all of them by becoming a patron. Whatever you can afford, between $2 and $20 per month, is exactly the amount that will help John make new music for you. Click on any subscribe button. Note: Every patron receives the same service. There is no difference in service between the levels of patronage. It is simply your chance to chip in wherever you’re comfortable and enjoy the results.
Help Launch Patronism
The company is currently looking for investors who want to make their ideas grow.
Bands and Musicians
Fill out an application form and get your fans to recommend you.
Brett Barnes on Philanthropy
The Austin entrepreneurial spirit knows no bounds! Take Courtney Clark and Matt Swinney, for example. They knew that Austin’s young professional community was eager to get involved and make an impact, but they also noted that there was not an easy way for individuals and groups of friends to connect with Austin’s large and diverse nonprofit community. From this observation came Austin Involved.
The thought behind Austin Involved is simple: Give Austinites a chance to “Discover, Do and Donate” in meaningful ways as a cohesive group. Members of Austin Involved have the opportunity every month to learn about local nonprofits, vote on their choice of inspiring organizations and give a donation of a small amount of time and money to designated organizations.
“By giving both our time and our money together, we are educating ourselves as the future patrons, volunteers and philanthropists of Austin,” Clark and Swinney said, adding that Austin Involved helps its members by making volunteering easy and giving painless while providing a meaningful impact.
To learn more and become a member, visit austininvolved.org.
Have Fun While Doing Good:
9/12 & 9/13: AIDS Services of Austin’s Dining for Life • asaustin.org
9/25: CASA of Travis County Superhero Run • casatravis.org
10/14: LEAP (LifeWorks Executives And Professionals) Casino Royale
Cancer-Curing Tools: Runners and Cyclists
Another year, another LIVESTRONG race: Challenge Austin is back in town. On Oct. 15th, participants will line up on the South First Street Bridge to walk or run a 5k through downtown Austin to help the fight against cancer. Last year, more than 5,000 people crossed the finish line and Brian Myers, a grassroots fundraising team member for LIVESTRONG, tells us that’s the place to be.
“I always tell people that I never thought I would have a job where I cry so much,” he says. “When you get to know some of the people and learn their stories, and you see them cross the finish line, it is a very moving experience. There is no better place to be than the finish line at a LIVESTRONG Challenge.”
On Saturday, Oct. 16, cyclists will be peddling for cancer in a multi-distance bike ride. Bikers can choose between 20-, 45-, 65-, or 90-mile treks in the Hill Country around Austin. Beginners to experienced cyclists make this race a success while having fun. Myers, the coach of the year for the University of Texas men’s lacrosse team, is ready for this amazing race to commence.
At the beginning of a LIVESTRONG Challenge the participants wear bibs – “Survivor,” “In Honor of” and “In Memory of” – you see why these people are out there,” he says. “It’s an amazing thing to see. Being at a LIVESTRONG Challenge is definitely my best day at work, if you can call it that.”
For more information:
ATX Man Sponsored Events
FORE THE Children Annual Golf Tournament
Benefiting the Austin Children’s Shelter.
Thursday, September 29. Grey Rock Golf Club.
Mamma Jamma Ride
Benefiting 11 local nonprofit organizations providing diagnosis, counseling, medication, and support for thousands of our neighbors coping with breast cancer.
Saturday, October 1. Reunion Ranch.
Beretta USA Sporting Clay Classic
Benefiting Wonders and Worries.
Saturday, October 22.
Cypress Valley Preserve. Liberty Hill, Texas.
Texas WranglersCitywide Holdup
Saturday, November 12.
Benefiting Easter Seals-Central Texas