Noah J Nelson on Thursday, Jan. 23rd
A new challenger enters the fray!
Podfund, a crowdfunding platform aimed at New Media projects (e.g. Podcasts, webseries) announced its existence this week. The platform is accepting submissions for projects to launch when the site opens for business on March 3rd.
The platform enters a hotly contested vertical in the crowdfunding space: that of online creative arts funding. How does Podfund stack up to its competitors?
The major innovation int he creative crowdfunding space of late has been the idea that ongoing contributions can make a big difference for creatives. That’s driven the success of Patreon, which spearheaded the continuing patronage model and is also the operating idea behind the Vlogbrother fronted Subbable.
Podfund looks more like a traditional (oh, that feels ironic to write) crowdfunding site like Kickstarter or IndieGoGo. The goal of all three being to launch a project, as opposed to the Patreon model which aims to keep a creator funded over a period of time.
As such Podfund’s closest cousin is Seed & Spark, which is also a launch-focused platform. The difference between the two platforms is in the verticals they focus on. Seed & Spark is aimed at filmmakers, while Podfund goes after the broad category of “New Media.” There’s some crossover: Seed & Spark opens its doors to episodic content producers, while Podfund hopes to attract webseries makers as well.
It’s an uphill climb for Podfund, as the other platforms have a head-start on name recognition amongst both creators and audiences. Platforms compete on three major factors:
- Ease of use.
- User base.
There’s no way to judge the user interface on Podfund at the moment, so that assessment will have to wait. User base is a non-factor for now, but that will change over time; to what degree will be a major factor in how well Podfund does.
So where does that leave us? With the fees. Let’s go to the numbers.
Podfund offers both all or nothing and flexible funding options ala IndieGoGo. Its fees are as follows:
- All or nothing: 5%
- Flexible: 8%
- Credit card fees: around 4%.
At most a project creator is looking at a 12% hit at the most and 9% at the minimum.
By comparison Kickstarter comes in at 10% in total fees for an all-or-nothing campaign. IndieGoGo is just 9% for successful campaigns and 12% for a flexible that fails to hit the stated goal.
So while Podfund has Kickstarter licked on fees, it will still have to compete with IndieGoGo on the other factors.
Even though the actual funding models are different, the mind-share factor will likely come into play with Patreon, which has a lot of momentum amongst the kind of creators that Podfund will need to woo. Patreon’s fees work out to just 8% when all is said and done.
The question of Podfund’s success is likely going to be answered by how well they promote the creators using their platform, and if those creators then pay the service back with good word of mouth.