Some of you may know I moonlight as a guitar player on YouTube. I've been doing it since 2007, I've gotten millions of views over the years, and 25,000 people have subscribed to my channel (more than twice as many people as I have Twitter followers) -- but it's just a fun side thing for me.
I've often considered somehow supplanting my income through my YouTube videos, but the options have been limited. I was an early member of the YouTube partner program, which lets me include ads on videos and share revenue, but that brings in something like $50 annually, plus or minus.
I've thought about doing a Kickstarter, but the Kickstarter model of funding one-time, larger projects doesn't fit nicely with my workflow of posting a single guitar video every couple of weeks/months. I would like to do a Kickstarter campaign some day, but I'd use it for something other than my YouTube videos. Maybe an album.
Enter Patreon, which I just discovered at XOXO a few days ago. This site lets people be "patrons" for musicians/creators who produce new things on an ongoing basis. You can sign up to be a patron for my stuff and pledge $1 or more whenever I post a new video. This helps support my guitar-posting habit, and there are some nice benefits such as a blooper reel, guitar tabs of my stuff and even the ability to choose which songs I play.
I certainly don't expect to be able to live off of this -- I'm quite happy working on Soundslice full-time, and frankly I need computer programming in my life in order to be truly happy -- but every bit helps, and I'm already enjoying the fan interaction that Patreon helps make happen. The fans who like your music enough to pay for it are the best kind of fans. :-)
Have a look at my Patreon page, where I've recorded an intro video and written more details. Looking forward to seeing how this goes.