Getting paid is usually at the front of any artist’s mind, and while it seems like there have never been more options for making money in a digital economy, the existing platforms can change at a moment’s notice. One such service is Drip, which was initially a fan service for indie music that Kickstarter acquired in 2016 and relaunched the following year for broader aristic subscription support. Last fall, Kickstarter teamed with XOXO, an organization about art and creative work on the Internet, to create a new company that would be the successor to Drip. Now that project has been cancelled.
The XOXO team shared the news in a blog post. The group’s end goal was a platform that would be independent and sustainable as an operation and was capable of supporting creators at any size of audience and stage of their career. “Ultimately, we couldn’t find a way to make the business viable,” the company said.
The reasons are a stark reminder of how difficult it is to break out as a success story solely on fan support. XOXO noted that no matter how they approached the issue, they couldn’t find a way to meet their lofty business goals without losing revenue on low-volume creators. The Internet has often been presented as a democratizing force for creativity, but the best and brightest talents in any field — be it art, music, or podcasting — can’t rise to the top unless they know how to navigate whatever infrastructure will keep their bills paid.