Anita Sarkeesian in front of Drip logo pattern

Photo via Susanne Nilsson/Flickr (CC-BY-SA) Remix by Jason Reed

Kickstarter launches Drip, a subscription-based rival to Patreon

There are 61 confirmed creators participating at launch.


Phillip Tracy


Published Nov 15, 2017   Updated May 22, 2021, 11:01 am CDT

Kickstarter’s first product since it launched in 2009 is a subscription-based crowdfunding platform designed to take on Patreon.

Instead of funding a specific project, Drip lets users give recurring payments directly to creators. It’s designed to give musicians, artists, inventors, and other creators a sustainable stream of income funded by fans of their work. If that sounds familiar, it’s because Drip is a clone of Patreon, a popular crowdfunding startup based entirely on subscription-based donations.

“It’s a total rebuild,” Kickstarter co-founder and chairman Perry Chen said, via Mashable. “Kickstarter’s very project-based funding and this is really about people-based funding.”

Drip’s standout feature—and one of the few ways it differentiates itself from competitors—is called “Founding Members.” To get people to subscribe to creators, each Drip starts with a 30-day period when creators offer their first subscribers, or “founding members,” rewards or status. Kickstarter explains this method will “replicate the urgency of Kickstarter’s all-or-nothing mechanism” and is designed to help creator’s build momentum. When the founding members period ends, the Drip will continue without rewards.

To convince people Kickstarter is strictly a tool, Drip will let creators transfer all their subscription and payment information to competing platforms. “We believe creator independence means not being locked into a platform by design,” Chen said.

“We don’t want anybody to continue to use our tools because they don’t know how to stop or they don’t know how to move out. We’re a platform, we’re a tool, but those are your relationships.”

Drip won’t replace Kickstarter’s traditional project-based platform. The company will integrate the two by letting Kickstarter members use their existing payment info to easily reward creators once Drip goes live.

For now, Drip is available to creators by invite-only. A few of the 61 confirmed creators include Anita Sarkeesian hosting a “Feminist Frequency” podcast, artist Shantell Martin, and digital artist Peter Burr. Kickstarter says it will open Drip to more creators in early 2018.

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*First Published: Nov 15, 2017, 1:30 pm CST