Kickstarter acquires Drip, rescuing it from shutting down

Steven Loeb · March 17, 2016 · Short URL:

Drip has announced it would be closing its doors on March 18, but will now be able to live on

It's Kickstarter to the rescue!

Last month, Drip, an online community for music fans, announced that it would be shutting down on March 18th, citing a variety of factors, including timing and funding, which made its future infeasible. The day before the company was about to say goodbye forever, though, Kickstarter swooped in and acquired it, allowing it to live on.

Founded in 2012, Drip was created as a way for artists to grow their network of fans, and have more control over how they interacted with them. 

"Existing networks hadn’t yet solved for the needs of creators: recurring income, support from their fans beyond likes and follows, and the data  needed to have more control over their careers," Drip said in its goodbye note.

Fans join communities on Drip, which are set up by labels, including Stones Throw, Dirtybird, Fool’s Gold, Now-Again, Morr Music, Domino Records, and OWSLA, as well as artists like They Might Be Giants, Christopher Willits and King Britt. The service allows fans to get access to exclusive music, and to interact directly with their favorite artists.

Members pay a fee, or, either monthly, quarterly or annually, to join any Drip of their choice, and can manage their memberships from a centralized dashboard. Drip pays creators directly, taking a small revenue share for maintenance of the Drip service. 

At the beginning of this year, Drip started looking at the "various routes" it could take to get to its future, without specifying what that future was, and concluded that it was better to just shut down.

"Between timing, funding, and everything needed to realize this future, we made the decision that now was the time for Drip to come to a conclusion," it said.

Now, thanks to Kickstarter, those issues are no longer a problem, and Drip can soldier on. 

This acquisition, as of right now, seems to be best labeled as a rescue mission, with Kickstarter seeing the value of Drip, and taking it upon itself to make sure the service was allowed to continue existing.

"Many of us at Kickstarter have admired Drip over the years. At heart, we’ve been on similar paths. Strengthening the bonds between artists and audiences, and fostering the conditions for a more vibrant creative culture is at the core of our work at Kickstarter, too," the company wrote.

No financial terms of the deal were disclosed. Drip co-founder Miguel Senquiz will be joining Kickstarter, and, while there does not seems to be any crossover between the two services right now, Kickstarter is already laying out the possibility of incorporating some part of Drip's technology somewhere down the line. 

"So how does this change things? In some ways, not at all. Our commitment to serving creators is hardcoded into our missions, and will continue to guide us," Kickstarter wrote. "In other ways, we’re excited to discover where it leads. Miguel will join the team here at Kickstarter. Together we’ll all be able to serve creators, creativity, and our communities more powerfully. This is just the beginning."

The New York-based Drip had raised a $1.5 million seed funding round last year from John Maloney.

Adding a social component to music seems to be a tough avenue to make work. Twitter tried it with #Music app, which tried to get artists to recommend music to users on Twitter.

It's #NowPlaying feature allowed users to see the songs that had been tweeted by the artists and people they follow on Twitter. Another feature, called Suggested, analyzed the artists a user followed, in order to recommend songs it thought they might like. The app ultimately failed, and was shut down one year after it launched. 

Last  year another social music app, This Is My Jam, also closed its doors. One of the founders of that app, Hannah Donovan, also became Drip’s Product Design Lead.

Drip came very, very close to following the same path as those other apps.

This is the first acquisition for Kickstarter.  

VatorNews reached out to both Kickstarter, but the company had no further comment.

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