There are lots of reasons that crowdfunding makes sense to journalists. And there are lots of ways to go about it. Alas, there are also drawbacks to what’s become the standard on platforms like Indiegogo or Kickstarter. Mainly it’s the whole deadline, all-or nothing approach to the major platforms. It’s fun and splashy and intense, but it’s also stressful and often just as much work to run a campaign to raise money for a project than it is to actually complete the project.
That’s why Josef Holm and Claude Shires have created TubeStart, a YouTube centric crowdfunding platform. It makes sense for two reasons.
The first is that the audience is there, waiting to be tapped. Instead of making users come to you, you can reach the bazillion (that’s a technical term) users that already viewing content on YouTube.
And you can monetize that content in a sustainable way. That’s the second part. What makes TubeStart unique is that you can raise funds with a subscription model. Holm says, that “fans can subscribe to over many mnths as opposed to running a month long campaign with the stress of making the goal. You can focus on finding funding to sustain your production costs.”
That’s interesting. The hardest thing about making the foray into video content is that it’s an added expense, and it’s still difficult to make it profitable. A local news organization could create daily news shows and ask users to donate, say, $1 a month for the privelage of viewing — and maybe some exclusive bonus content or other perk. This way, your content is paid for, while still remaining free for the general public, and you can make a few cents with Adsense to boot.
The platform launches August 20 and if you sign up now, TubeStart will waive the platform fees.