Charleston-based Tipalink hopes to provide creators with a new source of revenue

Money, Money, Money


Getting paid as a young creative is tough, to say the least. Most aspiring creators — whether they’re painters, writers, musicians — have experienced a day in the life of the archetypal starving artist.

Tipalink, a new website locally built and launched, hopes to provide a quick way for fans to pay creatives for their original work.

Created by Derek McKee, the service acts as a supplement to subscription and ad revenue for artists of all kinds.

“I ran a Charleston art shop for two years, some number of years ago,” says McKee. “Artists are generally trying to sell their work for more value, a higher price, so they can make a living doing it, if you’re really trying to make it.”

The way it works is easy enough: Fans send a tip amount of their choosing to artists. The tips accumulate in a tab, just like a bar or restaurant, and the fans pay the tab when they can. The money is then sent to the artist when the tab is paid.

“A solution like this could also help them monetize, at least accept tips on people that appreciate their work,” says McKee. “They follow them, they subscribe to them, but they maybe just don’t have the money to throw $500, $5,000 — maybe just throw $5.”

McKee developed the idea for Tipalink in May during a discussion at a tech forum.

“We were all brainstorming different ways of getting around that monetizing, the problem with monetizing content,” he says. “It started as a micropayment option… but it quickly morphed into this idea of tipping.”

Tipalink officially launched in August, shortly after the release of GroupE, an app used to tip musicians, exclusively.

Artists and fans who are interested can sign up for the service at tipalink.com.

Support the Charleston City Paper

We’ve been covering Charleston since 1997 and plan to be here with the latest and Best of Charleston for many years to come. In a time where local journalism is struggling, the City Paper is investing in the future of Charleston as a place where diverse, engaging views can flourish. We can't do it without our readers. If you'd like to support local, independent journalism:

UP NEXT FROM

FEATURE

Gaillard Center’s 2020-2021 season features Broadway musicals, chamber orchestras, and an iconic dance company

Connelly Hardaway

While so much of the world has seemed to come to a standstill, area arts organizations and venues continue to plan for their upcoming seasons — offering a shimmer of hope at the end of this coronavirus tunnel. The Gaillard Center promises “10 sensational performances” during this upcoming season, including two Lowcountry Broadway premieres.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Gaillard Center’s 2020-2021 season features Broadway musicals, chamber orchestras, and an iconic dance company

While so much of the world has seemed to come to a standstill, area arts organizations and venues continue to plan for their upcoming seasons — offering a shimmer of hope at the end of this coronavirus tunnel. The Gaillard Center promises “10 sensational performances” during this upcoming season, including two Lowcountry Broadway premieres.

Brookgreen Gardens opens new outdoor exhibit, “Southern Light,” on May 15

Murrell’s Inlet’s Brookgreen Gardens is currently open, 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m. daily. And, after its original opening date was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Bruce Munro’s massive outdoor light installation, Southern Light, will open to the public on Fri. May 15.

Sam Reynolds

Sam Reynolds, a Lowcountry folk songwriter who now resides in Vermont, released a collection of soft, subtle, and stirring piano instrumentals on May 1 titled Broken Tulips.

Charleston Wine + Food Festival says 2020 event had $19.9 million local economic impact

A survey by the College of Charleston reports that 54% of the 28,000 Charleston Wine + Food attendees were local.