The creator economy is “burning up,” and the Jonas Brothers are cashing in.
Launching today with the help of these former teen heartthrobs, Scriber is a creator subscription company geared toward more established figures in entertainment (… like the Jonas Brothers). Joe, Kevin and Nick aren’t just Scriber’s first creators — they also have equity in the company.
Besides catering to more established artists, Scriber differentiates itself from other creator subscription products by functioning solely via SMS. The creator will post a phone number on their social media platforms for fans to text, and after messaging that number, fans can pay a subscription fee via Apple Pay or Stripe to get exclusive content sent to their phone. For this launch with the JoBros, fans will pay $4.99 a month, but the service is only available in the U.S. right now.
Since Scriber is not an app on the App Store, the platform doesn’t have to pay fees to Apple or Google Play. Instead, creators pay Scriber $1 per month for each subscriber (so if they have 10,000 subscribers, they pay $10,000). The creator also covers Stripe’s 2.9% processing fee.
App Store fees have been a major pain point for creator-focused startups. Fanhouse, for example, instituted a coin system to circumvent Apple’s 30% cut — fans buy coins on the web, then use them in the app to subscribe to creators (they can also pay via the app, but they’ll be charged extra to cover the fees).
Scriber creators retain rights to the content that they upload, and the platform tries to protect the exclusive material from leaking by giving each subscriber a unique link to view uploads. So, if they share that link online, Scriber can easily figure out the source of the leak. This may not help in the case of screen recording and re-uploading videos, though.
Scriber comes courtesy of journalist-turned-entrepreneur Brian Goldsmith, who is serving as CEO and providing most of the startup capital. According to a report from Axios, Goldsmith says he hopes that the already-wealthy celebrities he partners with will use the platform to raise money for philanthropy. The Jonas Brothers are planning to donate about half of their earnings to causes they care about.
This isn’t the Jonas Brothers’ first rodeo when it comes to startups and investments. The three musicians invested in Snackpass, a social food app, and OLIPOP, a celebrity-backed sparkling tonic company.