Endlesss, the iOS music-making app from Tim Exile, takes to Kickstarter for desktop version

In entrepreneurship, timing is everything. Launch too early and the market or underlying tech may not be ready to support your idea. Launch too late and the opportunity may have already been conceded to competitors. For Endlesss, the music-making app from Tim Exile, the timing feels just right.

Launched on March 31st, just as the U.K. and many other countries around the world entered lockdown, the iOS app’s collaborative approach to music making proved to be an overnight hit. It seems that many people not only had time to fill, but craved the kinds of social and creative interactions that Endlesss was conceived to facilitate.

More broadly, Exile tells me the app and cloud-service is based on the premise that music has always been about performance and social interactions. However, as the recording industry developed, the tools for making music developed with it. This saw the onus put squarely on producing a final product — music-making as a means to an end rather than a means in itself — and along the way the spontaneity or “in the moment” element of music has been lost.

A vision years in the making (see this video interview with Exile conducted by TechCrunch’s Mike Butcher in 2016), the resulting Endlesss app combines software recreations of drum machines, samplers, synths and FX, with a “tap to loop” workflow that should be familiar to anyone who has used a looper pedal or loop-based sequencer. The app also accepts live audio for use with guitars, mics and other external instruments. However, the clever part is the way these loops or riffs can be shared or remixed by others participating in your jam — essentially sending musical messages back and forth as if it were a chatroom. Or at least that’s one analogy Exile is fond of using.

“Endlesss started life as an instrument I developed to allow me to take a spontaneous performative approach to improvising electronic music,” explains Exile in a Medium post. “I wanted to liberate myself from the perfectionism that I fell into in long solitary hours in my studio. The workflow evolved over a decade of regular touring at a time when process-based music was an arty experimental niche. At first I wanted to build a career for myself as an improvising musician but I soon realised there was much greater potential in what this workflow could do for others.”

Now, via a Kickstarter campaign launching today, the Endlesss team is aiming to bring an even more ambitious version to desktop Macs and Windows machines, including VST/AU compatibility for integration with your favourite DAW. Dubbed Endlesss Studio, the idea is to retain the accessibility and sense of play that the iOS app delivers, but couple it with a more involved studio setup so the music-making possibilities really are endless.

With that said, a few Kickstarter caveats. Endlesss Studio isn’t planned to ship fully until next year, with backers given access to an alpha version in December 2020 at the earliest and a beta release scheduled for February 2021. However, the team already has a track record shipping software, including the iOS app and accompanying cloud-based back end, so hopefully the release dates won’t slip too much, if at all.

Exile has also thought long and hard about how to create a sustainable business model that will support an even more ambitious roadmap into the future. Early Kickstarter backers can grab lifetime access to Endlesss Studio for a one-off fee, but the longer-term model is a monthly subscription of $ 12 per month — jamming as a service, if you will. This includes HD audio-quality jams and archives, an option that should prove popular for users who want to use Endlesss as a jumping off place for more polished tracks. In fact, Exile has already launched a record label dedicated to Endlesss-enabled releases.

Meanwhile, Endlesss isn’t entirely self-funded. The startup disclosed its first funding round in July last year. Backers include Tim Clark (co-founder, IE:Music), Mathew Daniel (VP International, NetEase Cloud Music), Dhiraj Mukherjee (co-founder, Shazam), Richard Jones (manager, Pixies) and Paul Kempe (Tileyard), along with a number of unnamed but “well-known” artists. In addition to equity funding, Endlesss has also received a grant from Innovate UK.

The company’s advisory board includes Stephen O’Reilly (IE:Music, Topspin), Cliff Fluet (Eleven Advisory) and Will Mills (Shazam, LyricFind).

Startups – TechCrunch

Kickstarter vs Patreon: Which Is Better?


kickstarter vs patreon

Bringing your idea to life no longer requires you to go around pitching your product to potential investors, VCs or backers to raise funds. Earlier this was the only way to gain enough capital for your project or company.

This situation has changed after the realization of crowdfunding platforms such as the Kickstarter and Patreon. These online platforms allow you to pitch your product or idea to the entirety of the internet and obtain funding from them.

Apart from being able to raise funds, these platforms provide flexibility with on how the funding is bought to the table – many ideas, products and services require stable, long term support rather than a large up-front donation to their cause nowadays.

And when it comes to online crowdfunding platforms out there, Kickstarter and Patreon are the most popular – be it raising money for your new or existing venture, they are ones that generally feature on top in the list of platforms.

So, how do they stack up against one another?

Which one would be a good fit for your project or cause?

Let’s find out.


What is Kickstarter?

Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform that was started in 2009 by Perry Chan after coming up with an idea of allowing customers to buy tickets for a show online and the show would only take place when it reached a set amount.

This idea was further fledged out, and thus Kickstarter was born as a crowdfunding platform. Kickstarter has helped successfully fund over 182,407 projects, with over $ 5 billion pledged into its projects.

What is Patreon?

Patreon is more of a membership platform than a crowdfunding platform. But that does not mean that it cannot be used to raise funds for projects.

Patreon was founded in 2013 by two individuals – Jack Conte and Sam Yam – when they were trying to boost their YouTube earnings. They decided to create a separate platform where users could support their favourite creators by having them pay for a subscription plan for which they receive certain perks in return.

Patreon not only helped support YouTubers but also helped in the conception of various products and services such as supporting creation of documentaries and such. Constant funding for newer endeavours taken up by creative professionals was made possible and easier by Patreon and its subscription-based fundraising model.


Kickstarter vs Patreon

Kickstarter Patreon
Raising Funds One-Time Periodic & Repetitive
Funding Payout Once the Funding goal is Reached (Or) Upon completion of the campaign Monthly Payouts
Platform Fees 5% of the total funds raised + transaction fee (3-5%) 5% of the total funds raised + transaction fee (3-5%)
Suitable For New projects, products or one-off ideas Individuals with a long term goal or gradual development or serving time

Raising Funds

Kickstarter

The Kickstarter platform allows users to raise the necessary funds all at once.

Say you create a Kickstarter campaign to fund your idea of creating an innovative power bank for mobile phones. You set your large funding goal to cover all your costs.

Kickstarter helps in the creation of this one-time, large funding pool that helps fund that specific endeavour of yours. Also, the people backing your campaign will be ones who are completely interested or desire your product or service. This means that you have to consider marketing and promoting yourself and your product at the very least to gain the edge over the others.


Patreon

Patreon is a subscription-based platform where-in you can generate a recurring, periodic supply of funds. Your backers, or “patreons” as they are called, pledge a monthly fee to your endeavours.

This usually means that the ones funding you and your projects are the ones who have already seen you accomplish the goals that you had previously set.

Funding Payout

Kickstarter

A Kickstarter pays you once you complete a successful campaign. A successful Kickstarter is one where you have reached your funding goals within the specified time frame.

Kickstarter then transfers over the entire amount that you have managed to raise for you to set out to create your product.


Patreon

Patreon pays you in a monthly fashion, wherein your “patreons” are charged monthly fees that they decided to donate and this is then paid to you.

This helps create a steady, monthly-recurring cash flow to fund your projects.

Platform Fees

Kickstarter

Kickstarter takes 5% from the total amount you managed to raise during your campaign as the platform fee and also charges another 3-5% in the form of payment processing fee.

kickstarter fees
Kickstarter Fees | Source: Kickstarter

In case your campaign is not successful, Kickstarter does not charge any fees and your backers are not charged any funds. The backers are charged only when the Kickstarter campaign is successful and reaches its goals.


Patreon

Patreon charges from 5% to 12% of your monthly funds that you manage to raise depending on the pricing plan that you choose.

Though getting started on Patreon is free, it offers three different plans with varying features –

patreon plans
Patreon Pricing Plans | Source: Patreon

Patreon Pricing Plans | Source: Patreon

Apart from the platform fee, Patreon also charges 3-5% fees for handling the payments –

patreon payment fees
Patreon’s Payment Processing Fee Breakdown | Source: Patreon

Most Suitable For

Kickstarter

Kickstarter is more suitable for funding new, one-off projects or products that require a fixed amount of funding to bring to production.

Kickstarter’s one-time funding also means that it is more suitable for those requiring large amounts of funding, say in the neighbourhood of hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars.

Here are a few products and companies to come out of Kickstarter Campaigns –

  • Pebble Smartwatches
  • Coolest Cooler
  • OUYA Video Game Console
  • The Everyday Backpack

These types of one-off products would greatly benefit from a Kickstarter campaign than from Patreon.


Patreon

Patreon is more suitable for those looking for long term funding to help supplement their projects. Here, supporters of your projects generally come from those who already know you and are fans of your work.

This means that Patreon works well for –

  • Content Creators – YouTube, Artists and Designers to name a few
  • Brands
  • Service providers
  • As a VIP club where people get early access and exclusive deals for providing their support

Patreon could be your major source for funds, but most of the times it helps act as a backup source of funding that is consistent and available for larger timeframes.

Takeaway

Just a decade ago, if anybody would have told you that it would be possible for you to create any dream project or product using funding available from the internet, you would have scoffed at the absurdity of the idea.

Fast forward to 2020.

Crowdfunding, subscriptions and membership programs are everywhere, be it groceries or technology or services. Not only have these revenue models changed the way products are designed, online crowdfunding, in particular, has helped design more products.

Want to raise funds for your obscure idea? There is a crowdfunding platform for everyone that work well for certain niches more than the others. But in the end, it all depends on how and when you wish to receive your funding.

TL;DR:

Kickstarter is your best bet if you have a one-off product or idea and want a large sum to get things started.

Patreon is your best bet if you already have a userbase wanting to see more of your work and will help you fund and sustain your newer projects.

Go On, Tell Us What You Think!

Did we miss something?  Come on! Tell us what you think about our article on Kickstarter vs Patreon in the comments section.


Feedough

Thoughts on Collaborative Kickstarter for Startups?

Hey ya'll!

As a multiple-time founder, I've experienced the pitfalls of working solo:

  • Getting attached to a bad idea
  • Not figuring out how to grow/monetize upfront
  • Having great ideas but no time to execute (e.g. full-time job)
  • Difficulty getting feedback from the right people
  • Difficulty paying the right talent for design, dev, marketing

I'm looking to launch a meta-startup, based on the principle that: The best way to change the world is through collaboration, not competition.

Angelic would help founders leverage the experience and passion of others:

  • People share their ideas in a large, crowdsourced, prioritized pool
  • There's a process to collectively refine ideas (solution, distribution)
  • Assumptions for the most promising ideas are tested via MVP (paper prototype, product, etc.)
  • The cream of the crop are crowdfunded and launched, with support from Angelic participants.

What do you think? Is this something you would or wouldn't want to be a part of? Why?

If you would want to use it, what are the main benefits you'd hope for?

Many thanks in advance,

submitted by /u/nathanlippi
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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Hi everyone! We’re a music tech startup – Jammy Instruments, and we’d love to hear some feedback on our new product’s Kickstarter campaign launch 🙏

I'm sure that a lot of you guys have some crowdfunding experience.

We've just launched a Kickstarter campaign for our new product called Jammy EVO. It's a portable MIDI guitar with a detachable neck that fits into your backpack.

The start of the campaign was pretty decent – we gathered $ 50k within the first hour and got the "projects we love" badge from Kickstarter, but now we're looking for ways to boost the campaign a little bit by optimizing our Kickstarter page and attracting new traffic sources.

You can check out the page here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1591722511/jammy-evo-play-any-instrument-using-your-guitar-skills

Any feedback will be highly appreciated 🙏

submitted by /u/justasinger77
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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Superfat launched their new site with pre-orders then Kickstarter before having inventory. Any other examples?

Has anyone launched a new website with pre-orders before launching on Kickstarter? I'm always interested in brand launches and noticed Superfat did this strategy and had great success on Kickstarter. Wondering if there are other examples and what your thoughts are on launching pre-orders (I think they launched with a 50% discount) then on Kickstarter (40% discount) before having product to sell.

submitted by /u/CrashTestDummie
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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Using Kickstarter to raise capital

Hi everyone,

It sounds like raising VC is very challenging and for those bootstrapping money can be tight. I've been looking into Kickstarter as part of my fundraising efforts.

Has anyone had any success using Kickstarter as a means to raise capital for their business? If so what did you do to ensure you met your goal? What kind of pledge rewards did you offer? Pro's and cons?

Looking at it it seems like a great way to not just raise funds but to also gauge interest in how much demand there may be for the product/service.

If not Kikstarter what other social fundraising have you used?

Any other recommendations would be great and sorry for all of the questions.

submitted by /u/Manureprenuer
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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!