Play2Fund takes the technical challenges out of crowdfunding virtual concerts for musicians. They’re even planning to help venues generate more income through virtual viewers.
We went live with the creator of Play2Fund, Roni Kripper, and one of our favorite independent musicians, Nate Maingard, to learn more about it.
Play2Fund Empowers Musicians to Host Virtual Concerts
Musicians can crowdfund virtual concerts through Play2Fund for free. Play2Fund also allows you to offer lessons, book remote recordings, share music on other outlets, and more.
When we met to interview Roni for our webinar, the site had helped seventy five artists crowdfund their virtual concerts in just under three months. The team works closely with their pioneer musicians to see what works so they can help others become successful with Play2Fund as well.
This crowdfunding website for musicians was initially created in response to the Coronavirus Pandemic. The team was focused on solving is the problem of lost income for artists who usually play live events for a living. Though their origins were in response to an emergency, Play2Fund is dedicated to setting up sustainable tools for musicians of all kinds.
“We are sending checks to artists every day and we are talking to artists in different countries… It’s one of the communities that has suffered the most and it’s the one that will suffer the longest. Because, when everything returns to normal, it’s still going to take a long time for people to go back and enjoy live concerts at smaller venues. It’s going to take artists a long time to get back to the income they made before COVID. They need solutions now. That’s why we had to build this quickly… I’m being exposed to some amazing musicians right now because of this.”
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Why not just use Facebook or YouTube to live stream?
The distractions on platforms like Facebook can hinder artists from gaining engaged viewers and calling attention to their contribution options. Social media platforms are not focused on the musician or monetizing a stream.
“I’m not against doing Facebook Live, but if that’s the only thing you’re going to do, it might not benefit you in the long term.”
As an artist who has experimented with many platforms, Nate liked the idea of using Play2Fund to live stream virtual concerts because of its focus on music and artists.
“I love the artist centric thing, because what I realize more and more is that on social media, someone who’s watching a live stream on Facebook isn’t just watching a live stream. They’re also avoiding all the other distractions that Facebook is full of. So to have a space that is really designed to allow artists to be heard and get as close as you can to that venue experience, I think it’s really admirable.”
– Nate Maingard
What’s the catch? How do they make money?
While many crowdfunding platforms make their income through a mandatory percentage, fees, or by selling their users data, Play2Fund does none of those things. Artists can decide if they want to give some of the money they generate through Play2Fund or if they want to keep 100% of their income. Play2Fund has no ads and they do not sell anyone’s data.
People who give to artists can also choose to give to the site on top of their contribution. So far, many have chosen to support both artist and platform.
Will People Pay for Your Music?
One of the things Roni talked a lot about during our interview is the mindset of the general public. The issue many artists face is that most people expect to get music for free. People giving away their content for free have set a precedent.
“It’s not a sustainable way to live, to make music, to have a career.”
Roni thinks that to change the norm from free to paying for art needs to come from artists themselves; if bigger artists make the change, it will benefit smaller artists. He gave an example of a musician in Argentina who helped change the music culture for the area:
“He started doing paid concerts. He was the first one. Then, after that, they all switched to paid. So, it started from high up and then it trickled down… That’s what we are trying to accomplish with Play2Fund.”
As a musician who has struggled over the years, Nate has often spoken of these same issues:
“The value of music … seems that it’s reached almost zero because of how people consume music and how we treat music in the world. I actually think it’s a really big problem that the value of a song is almost intrinsically zero… This is our job but it’s strange because it’s viewed as a job that’s not really that important… but then show me a single area of life that isn’t massively enriched by music and I don’t think you’ll be able to show me one. Creating platforms and education around paying our artists, paying the people who make the music that give us the story, the soundtracks of our lives, I think that’s really critical.”
To help bridge the gap between free and paid virtual concerts, Play2Fund will soon implement the idea of a closed concert. In this future feature update to their site, musicians will be able to choose whether or not people can view their events without paying.
In a closed event, the platform will allow viewers to see the first few minutes of the concert before asking for a minimum contribution to continue. Asking after a few minutes helps bridge the gap between the expectation for free content and the artists’ need to make a living.
Future Play2Fund Features
The first iteration of the Play2Fund website took just one month to build and created a basic minimum viable product to help musicians monetize live stream events. That means people can do everything we’ve talked about so far after just one month of development. The platform currently uses Facebook and YouTube livestream embeds for the live streaming functionality.
However, next week Play2Fund is launching their own streaming platform features to support their closed concert events. The platform will cater to musicians with great sound quality, live chat options, and the ability to customize how each event is monetized.
After that, Play2Fund plans to help venues with updates scheduled for mid-October. These will include recurring donation options so that people can subscribe to see the events at the venue.
“Venues are struggling too, so we’re going to give them tools to stream and monetize their events. There is a lot of opportunity and we want to be part of that change.
This is just the beginning. Later on, Roni expects to offer premium artists pages and more.
Try Play2Fund Now
Play2Fund is a brand new live streaming and crowdfunding platform for musicians. Now is the perfect time to try it out so you can provide input while it’s in development. Start your campaign, today.