I just came across a new website called Flattr. It was started in 2010 by one of the co-founders of the pirate bay. They are based out of Sweden, and from what I've seen there is some decent activity with this in Europe. The name comes from a “Flat Rate” and “Flatter.” The thought is content consumers can enter in a flat rate amount they want to give to content creators (podcasters, bloggers, musicians, etc). They then “flatter” people by clicking the flattr button on the content producers website.
Let's say I put aside $10 a month to “Flatter” people with, and I click 10 different flattr buttons on websites.Each person gets $1. The more people I click, the smaller amount given to each. To “flatter” someone, when I visit their website I will have to login to my Flattr account, and from there it's one click. In reading the idea behind flattr, the developers felt paypal donations required too much work. I'm not sure I agree with that.
On the other hand, I can now be flattered via twitter. That's easy. People can also subscribe to your blog and “Flatter” you on a monthly basis.
The Fees of Flattr
It is free to sign up and according to their website:
“When you add or withdraw money you only pay a fee to the payment provider you choose. This fee is displayed when you add or withdraw money (you can see it on your payment history as well). We take 10% of your incoming revenue as a fee to keep the Flattr systems afloat, hope that's ok?”
The money I paid when I made a deposit I was paying my paypal fee. Their fee comes when you remove your money.
You can get paid when you account reaches €10 or more. The money can be transferred to your paypal or moneybookers account (where you again will pay more fees when using paypal. Moneybookers states you can receive money for free).
Flattr is integrated with dailymotion.com website, and also with the Instacast Podcatcing software for the iphone. Now users of instacast will be able to flatter the podcaster with one click in the app. There is also a setting in Instacast to allow it to flatter every podcast that the listener consumes in the app.
For podcasters using WordPress there is a plugin that will add a flattr button at the bottom of every post (or you can customize it). This was super easy to install and setup. (you can see this at the bottom of this post). The plugin also puts the flattr button in your feed (if you want).
Anytime someone makes it easier to support podcasts financially I'm all for it. I'm just not sure the “hassle” that flattr eliminates was that serious of an issue. I do see where a person may not go through the hassle of donating $1 (and now may click your flattr button). A flattr user could add $100 in funds and then set a monthly amount to be used. I like the idea, I see the benefits. The question is are people so passionate about supporting their favorite content creators that they will sign up for a new service?
Here is a video with the co-founder