Welcome to Coop Content! We’re finally ready to launch! Coop Content is a GO!!!
Well… it’s only the Alpha version, but everyone/everything has to start somewhere.
It’s only taken three months to build the site and get everything in place behind the scenes, but I think we’re good to go. I’ll tentatively call this a soft launch – we’re new to the game – so if we encounter any teething problems, it might take a bit to fix them all, so only then will we be happy saying we’ve had the full launch.
Regardless, the site is up and it works… as far as we know.
Anyway, we’re proud to be finally doing this. A lot of time and effort has gone into setting up Coop Content, so what’s it all about?
Well, it’s simple really. Creating a competitive market.
Patreon was a great idea; wish I’d thought of it. Crowd funding in general is something I love, but specifically being able to regularly support a creator you like, is pretty special. It shows a greater level of interest than just buying merchandise, or not skipping ads/using an ad blocker on YouTube.
However, unlike crowd funding which has a good few competitors (Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe, etc.), there aren’t many subscription services out there. SubscribeStar has made a name for itself after the Patreon exodus, and more power to them, but other than that there was Hatreon and GoyFundMe… yeah.
Admittedly, there may be others out there, but in terms of big names you encounter in articles and in active large scale use… not really. That’s why we want to get in on this.
We aren’t against monopolies when they’re natural, like Tesla or PayPal or eBay when they all started out. In time competition has risen up, but these brands have lasted as household names, and brought their concepts to the mainstream. They may still be the biggest players in their fields, but at least there are other options around them.
With Patreon, there just aren’t any big competitors. That’s not to say there should be; but there should be. I can’t say that we have agreed with all of their actions, the changes they’re intending to make to their fees for instance, or the potential collusion with PayPal over SubscribeStar. It all doesn’t sit very well with us and we think there’s a better way of doing things is all.
We here at Coop tried to capitalise on the controversial bans by – and subsequent boycott of – Patreon. We also wanted to get up and running before SubscribeStar could process payments again. We almost gave up day 1 when we found out Jordan Peterson was setting up a subscription service site, that would be independent of all the usual big tech companies and payment processing providers. How could we compete?
After a lot of thought, a few breakdowns, and spending all our savings to get this beast going… we decided it is actually best to play things straight. We really didn’t want to use the situations of others against them/for ourselves, but admittedly it was the spark that set the ball rolling for us.
That said, as in love and war, all is fair in business. However, we’re also trying to do things in a more honest, open, and considerate way. We want to see if our products and services are objectively “better”, with what we feel will be a more popular, fair, and sustainable business model.
We aren’t looking to get rich, just earn a decent wage. We want to employ a solid team and pay them well too. We want set up a few server points around the world to limit downtime and spread out the load for the site, and for out employees to be able to work from wherever they want.
We have goals in mind and we want to make them happen while serving our users the best we can.
Part of that is all our promotions, which we will discuss in subsequent articles. The other part is our commitment to independence and transparency.
Most companies seek investment, or after a period of being a private company they go public to attract share holders, either way it’s the use of outside resources to start off or expand.
Firstly, we feel the potential of sacrificing any control of the company to the desires of others, that may not actually share the same ideals as the spirit in which the company was founded, is unacceptable to us. Secondly, it means we would have to chase profits and ever increasing market dominance, rather than letting the site grow naturally and only ever functioning within its means.
We aren’t about exponential growth or towing any particular ideological line, so staying completely independent is important to us. This is why we won’t be looking to have any advertisers on the site either, because we want Coop’s direction to be dictated by our users (within reason, if we have to reign you in we will, and vice versa) and us alone.
We’ve put our own money into this to get the ball rolling and we only aim to grow the company as its income allows.
Getting the right balance of income for the site, while giving the best deal we can to our Users, is a really tricky balancing act. I mean, Patreon has had several rounds of investment, putting their funding debt into the tens of millions. Their new fees reflect the need for higher profits to keep the site sustainable, though that it just an opinion and should not be taken as a factual statement against their financial status.
That’s why we decided to run Coop Content as an all-in-one revenue stream for Creators to keep everything in one place. The crowd funding market is pretty full, as discussed above, that’s why we’re undercutting the big names on fees, so Creators can get whole projects off the ground as well as receive support for their usual content.
We’ve also got merchandise production options, provided by Prinitfy, so we’re kind of muscling in on TeeSpring, RedBubble, and even Etsy by being able to host products offered by Creators directly. By diversifying our products and services, but keeping them to most frequent income options a Creator might choose, it should keep our overall funds in a good place for the site to last a long time.
So long as we don’t end up on the wrong side of some PR scandal and get boycotted or have our service providers pull out before we’re completely independent… but let’s not think of those sorts of things unless we have to.
That said, we also don’t want to put anyone off about using other companies for different services. If you want to use Coop Content for just subscription processing, but then keep your TeeSpring store, and crowd fund your projects on Kickstarter… Go for it! There’s the convenience of not moving, functionality preferences, brand loyalty, and dozens of reasons to use other platforms.
With how uncertain the longevity of a tech company can be, it’s best for Creators to have back-ups, and maybe keep their different income streams on different platforms, so they’re always going to get something at the end of the month. Again, that’s all part of the point behind Coop Content.
We understand the risks involved with trying to calve out your own place on the internet. No list of out failed ideas, personalities, or ventures will ever be posted. Sorry. That’s why we wanted to bring the big three revenues for Creators under one roof, so when you’re starting out it’s all here for you.
Then if another company is offering you a better deal, quicker service, or you just want to separate where your money comes from, then that’s your choice. That said, you could be a well established brand, have service providers all over the place, and just want to simplify things so your admin is less effort. We’ve fine with that too, it’s all up to you.
We’re new to the market, we want to make it a little more competitive, and a little more interesting. Hope you’re down to join us, build a community here on Coop Content, and see where things go.
This article is going on a little bit, so we’ll try to not keep rambling for too long.
If you have any questions, issues, complaints, criticism, compliments, or suggestions… there’s loads of ways to contact us and we’ll do our best to respond as soon as possible. We are a small team, so we do stipulate that it might take up to 24hrs for us to get back to you, as we obviously have to prioritise running the site and releasing Creator Content first, but we’ll always get back to you sooner or later.
We’re all over social media too, so check out our Creator Page here on Coop Content for links to all of them. If you want more of our business model plans, condensed into one place for easy consumption, go to the About Coop page. Though as stated above, we will be releasing more articles explaining each part more in depth.
Finally, after all that shameless self promotion (it’s almost as if that’s kind of the point of an introductory article on a site, about the site, from the site), we want you all to have fun. Get involved where you like, make the community yours, moderate your own Coop Groups like you would a subreddit, and don’t be shy to call us out if you think we’re acting against the best interests of the site and users.
So yeah! Welcome to Coop Content! We hope you enjoy your stay!