Kickstarter Launches a Patreon Competitor Called Drip

Kickstarter is getting into the membership business: The crowdfunding pioneer launched a new service called Drip Wednesday that allows users to support creators with regular contributions, as opposed to one-off campaigns.

The service launched with 61 creators Wednesday, including podcaster Debbie Millman, open source music project Musopen, the National Observer and Rifftrax, the makers of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Drip remains invite-only for now, but Kickstarter plans to open up the floodgates and allow any creator to launch a membership campaign some time next year.

The idea to support creators through recurring membership programs isn’t new. Patreon has been working with thousands of creators, and is on track to help them raise more than $150 million in membership contributions this year alone.

Some may even remember Drip as a membership pioneer: Back in 2011, Drip launched as a service to provide musicians with recurring income. However, the startup behind it announced that it was forced to shut down in early 2016, only to get scooped up by Kickstarter soon after.

As for Kickstarter, launching Drip is an interesting stab at staying relevant in a changing digital economy that has many creators looking for income sources other than advertising. It’s also a bit of an attempt to turn things around for Kickstarter itself: The company has seen the departure of its CEO as well as key senior staffers this year and is now looking to get back to its roots, according to a report by The Verge.

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