Musician Ben Folds is offering his fans a chance to get up close and personal with a new Patreon-powered membership program. Folds’ new Patreon page, which launched Monday morning, includes access to perks like MP3 recordings and live streams from his studio.
“Like all recording artists, I’ve kept my eye on what creative tools the internet might afford. Patreon is unique, ever developing, and above all, it’s a platform that interests me,” Folds wrote on Patreon. “I’ve spent an entire career traveling, coming to your towns to play music. Now I’m inviting you to my place.”
Supporters who pay at least $5 a month will get 4 previously unreleased MP3s of improvised song recordings per month. Anyone who pays $10 or more per month will also have access to a monthly live stream from his house, which Folds billed as a way to share his record collection with fans.
“While playing records and sipping scotch from my writing room once a month, I’ll be connected with those patrons on this tier who want to learn a few simple things, and I hope to get tips for myself from some knowledgeable chat room gurus who we might meet,” he said.
Members who give $20 or more per month will additionally get a monthly live stream from his studio, with a chance to participate in the results: “At least once a month, I’m going to write and record a song in the studio, generated by your lyrics, in an hour and change, live,” Folds said. “Patrons on this tier can send in lyrics, and together decide which ones I’m going to work with.”
Folds is joining Patreon just as the San Francisco-based membership services startup is gearing up to accelerate its growth. In January, Patreon announced that it had surpassed 3 million paying members, and that it expected to pay out $500 million to creators this year. Patreon founder and CEO Jack Conte will be joined by Folds and fellow musician and Patreon artist Amanda Palmer on a SXSW panel later this week.