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Digital ads weren’t paying the bill for Jack Conte. Now his Patreon is making real money for online artists.

Conte is No. 88 on the Recode 100.

Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Like lots of people who put popular videos up on YouTube, Jack Conte couldn’t understand why his clips didn’t make him much money. Unlike other people, Conte did something about it: He co-founded Patreon, a company that lets fans send money, via recurring subscriptions, to their favorite musicians, artists and podcasters.

It’s a straightforward idea, and it’s taking off. Conte says Patreon fans will send more than $150 million to creators this year. That’s real money, and a stark contrast to the paltry dollars digital advertising generates for many content makers. Watch for other people to try the same thing.

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