Quick Look

ScratchBang 101

What is ScratchBang?

ScratchBang is the only platform built for no-strings-attached artist support and fueled by fans with both love and money. Fans subscribe to the artists we love, send a little money their way each month, and help support their creative work.

And we’re not talking about only musicians or painters or poets or dancers. Check out our whole list of art categories. Any artist is eligible to participate on ScratchBang.

It’s easy for artists and fans to participate. Really easy.

Artists who are creating work and sharing it—sharing it within a close circle, with the world, or anywhere in between—can use ScratchBang to connect with their fans.

Fans who love what we see, read, hear, or feel thanks to the work of those artists can use ScratchBang to help support their favorites.

ScratchBang is different than hard-to-manage, project-based, short-term crowdfunding sites. Even if you use one of those, you can still participate on ScratchBang. It’s easy to get started and to keep going.

We’re helpers.

All of us here at ScratchBang want to make it easy for artists to connect with their fans. If something isn’t making sense, then we’re just a click away.

Safe and Sound.

From website encryption to PayPal account verification to ScratchBang artist profile reviews and community feedback, we protect your experience on ScratchBang. Fans and artists can be confident in safely connecting on ScratchBang.


ScratchBang exists to make it simple for money to flow to artists from their fans. That flow happens by way of a monthly subscription. A fan chooses an artist and picks the monthly subscription amount.

Money matters.

Creating an artist profile is free. Signing up as a fan is free. There are no fees for maintaining either an artist profile page or fan account.

Subscriptions & Payments & Fees.

Using PayPal, ScratchBang creates a recurring monthly payment from the fan to the artist. Fees are charged for each monthly payment based on these percentages: PayPal micropayment processing, 6% (estimate); ScratchBang operations, technology, 14%. A full 80% of each fan's payment goes to the artist. Subscription payments are credited to the artist throughout the month, depending on the fans' subscription schedules. Fans can cancel subscriptions at any time.

For all the details about subscription payments, see Fees & Taxes.

For more about verified PayPal accounts (required for all artists), please read our page of PayPal Tips.

Fans today. Fans tomorrow.

You have ScratchBang fans subscribing to you. Yes! That's a group that could be with you far into the future. How much do you want to interact with your fans and in what way? With ScratchBang, you decide.

Some artists may want to do the minimum of one monthly personal check-in with fans to say “thanks.” Others may decide to engage more than that. It’s your call. You don’t have to change your ways to be on ScratchBang.

Feel the love.

Fans subscribe to artists because they want to support those artists. It’s that simple. Can’t take your favorite artists out for a drink or dinner each month? ScratchBang can be the next closest thing. Not as delicious, but still very satisfying.

Profile Page Preparation for Artists

Before you create your artist profile page, read through this section. It’ll get you started in the right direction.

Do a three-question reality check first.

  1. Have other people experienced your creative work? If absolutely no one has, then ScratchBang still will work for you, but it might take some time for fans to discover you. Artists who have existing fans or who hope to attract new fans will find ScratchBang rewarding. This goes for beginner, veteran, and retired artists.
  2. Do you expect to see huge subscription payments each month? It might not happen that way. ScratchBang isn’t a big-dollar reward or perk-based model. It’s not a pre-sale of a product. But it’s not a one-time project either—you’ll receive your fans’ subscription payments each month.
  3. Are you uneasy talking about the intersection of art and money? That’s okay. Almost all of us are. That’s why ScratchBang works so well. It takes away that awkward feeling of asking for support. “See you on ScratchBang!” is an invitation to something bigger than a money transaction. And here’s the thing: your fans want to support you and connect with you. ScratchBang makes it easy and comfortable for them and for you.

Inspiration, preparation, perspiration.

That’s a lot of “–rations,” so let’s break them down.

Inspiration. You’ve seen ScratchBang artist profile pages and you’ve seen project profiles on crowdfunding sites. Some elements of those profiles will click with you and can inspire the creation of your ScratchBang profile page. Luckily, the “be yourself” concept works best and is the easiest to make work.

Preparation. Getting ready to start on ScratchBang isn’t very difficult. You’ll have space to post a short introductory video, a written welcome message, photos, and audio. If you’re in a band or another type of artist group, you’ll want to prepare with the other members of your group. Collect your stories and decide on the message you want to convey. Record a video. You don’t necessarily need to present a full history of your artistic career. Be real and be brief.

If you don't already have accounts on video, audio, and social sites, it's a good idea to set those up before you start working on your ScratchBang profile. You'll want to be able to embed at least one video on your profile page from either YouTube or Vimeo. Audio is posted to ScratchBang by way of embedded SoundCloud tracks. A social site or your own website may be the best location to use for meeting the identity "proof" requirement, described in more detail under Profile Creation below.

Don't forget to set up a PayPal account! You may have one already that you use for your art-related activity. We've put together a guide called PayPal Tips, and it's important to read.

Perspiration. Anticipate how much work is involved in maintaining a ScratchBang profile. It’s not much, but it’s more than zero. Throughout the month, payments will be credited to your PayPal account. That’s one thing to manage. Each month, you’ll check in with fans via your profile page to say thanks. If you engage more with your ScratchBang fans, then consider that extra time, too. And occasionally, you may want to update your profile details. No sweat.

Spread the word.

Let’s not keep this a secret. Friends, family, existing fans, and fellow artists will want to know about your ScratchBang profile page. However you usually communicate with them is the perfect way to mention ScratchBang. You don't have to make any high-pressure sales pitches.

A little goes a long way. True with perfume. True with ScratchBang promotion.

Profile Creation

What pieces do you need to complete your artist profile? You’ve come to the right section to find out.

Be real. Be brief. Be you.

This is the key to everything about your profile.

Record your intro video.

This is a big deal. In 90 seconds or less (a minute and a half, seriously!) you’ll talk a little about yourself and your art.

Start off with something like, “Welcome to my ScratchBang page.” Wrap up with a “See you on ScratchBang!” message at the end. And that still leaves you with 85 seconds for the important middle part.

The center of your video should tell your fans the who, what, where, when, why, and how of your creative work. Fans will want to see your face, too, so don’t be camera shy. (Plus, that helps confirm that it's really you.)

You don’t have to be Martin Scorsese, Ava DuVernay, or Wes Anderson. Digital camera or phone videos can be outstanding. We’ll embed your video from YouTube or Vimeo and it’ll be excellent.

Put it in writing. (Well, and in photos, too.)

It’s a good idea to figure that not everyone is going to watch your video. It’s OK to repeat in writing what you said, and it’s OK to add more details and photos. It’s your call on how lengthy to make this part. You can edit it any time, so ask around and get feedback on how well it reads.

Let’s not have your message get lost in translation. Non-English profile video transcripts and written sections should be accompanied by translations into English. See the International page for more about that.

Prove it.

All artist profiles require proof that you are who you say you are.

What is proof? Proof is anything that will let your fans know that you are the person (or group) you claim to be. And that will differ in each situation.

Ideally, your proof will be posted where there is public access. And your proof should live on as long as you have a ScratchBang profile page. Here are some options:

  • Have an established web site or social networking accounts? Add a note or post or tweet and include your ScratchBang username and a link to your ScratchBang profile.
  • Post a photo of you with a sign that says “See You On ScratchBang” with your username. This is only going to work if people can compare to other public photos of you. [See Supplies for signs.]
  • If the methods above aren’t going to work for you, then we’ll work with you confidentially to prove your identity. This may mean sending the ScratchBang Support Squad copies of your identification.

You must link from your ScratchBang page to wherever you posted your proof. We'll display this link on your public profile page so fans and prospective fans can view your proof. If you create a profile without proof it will be subject to deactivation or deletion. Ouch.

On a more positive note, ScratchBang will occasionally verify an artist based on a set of family-secret, proprietary identification and verification methods known only to us and, probably, the NSA. When we do verification like that, we’ll display a “verified” icon on your profile.

The Care and Feeding of Your ScratchBang Profile


Your ScratchBang artist profile page is up and running. Hmm. Now what? Well, the good news is that with ScratchBang there’s no deadline, so you don’t have to pressure your fans into subscribing to you within a short time period. Really, you don’t have to pressure anybody ever. But now’s not the time to be coy either. It’s a great time to let your circle of friends, family, and existing fans know that they can now see you on ScratchBang.

Nothing attracts a crowd like free beer a crowd.

Get a dozen or ten fans subscribing to you as soon as you can and you’ll avoid a situation where new fans hesitate to join in. Psychology is so weird.

Spread the word.

Do you already reach out to your fans via the web or email or Twitter or Ello or Instagram or Facebook or phone calls or handwritten letters or Morse code? You don’t have to change the way you communicate with people just because of ScratchBang. Drop in a mention when it seems right to you. That’s cool.

For in-real-life events, consider making ScratchBang business cards or posters or postcards available at your merch table or near your art or in whatever physical place applies to your situation. Check out our Supplies page for some print-it-yourself options. (Actually, we recommend a print shop.)

Look at all those subscribers! Nice.

Here’s what we ask (OK, we require it, but that sounds so harsh): once a month, check in on your page by adding a post saying “thanks.” It can be either a public or a fans-only post. Officially, that’s all you have to do. We’ll stand by you if you do it. (Your “thank-you” messages can be just text or can include video, images, or audio.)

Maybe that’s enough for you and your fans. Or maybe it isn’t. Try to gauge what your fans might like versus what you can offer. Go for a consistent approach, though. We’re all in this for the long haul. If you live to be 103 years old, that’s a lot of monthly updates. Don’t over promise. But if you do want to do more, here are some possibilities:

  • Behind-the-scenes photos or video
  • Discount on merch
  • Pass to a performance
  • Meetup
  • Google Hangouts or Skype
  • Upload demo song
  • Personal email or note

Keep Track of the Numbers.

We’ll provide you with subscriber information and subscription amounts on your Payments screen. Good for bragging rights; good for keeping track. On your profile page we'll show the count of your subscribers, but we're not going to publicly display any dollar amounts for your monthly subscription payments.

Your PayPal account history will show all of your ScratchBang payments. PayPal may send you an annual 1099-K form depending on the total dollar amount and number of subscription payments you receive. Check with a tax professional for guidance on how to handle ScratchBang subscription payments. See Fees & Taxes for more on that subject.

You call that a Quick Look?

Oh, you noticed that. Guilty.