Indie-pop band Pomplamoose went viral last week after band member Jack Conte posted a tour diary entry detailing the band’s finances and implying that “making it” as a band in 2014 isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. The post was met with a fair amount of derision, with some musicians questioning whether the band’s $11,000 losses on tour were less the result of a changing music industry and more the result of a band who didn’t know how to budget properly. Now, accusations are coming out that the tour diary was an advertisement for Patreon, a company co-founded by Conte.
Towards the end of his essay, Conte says that his band is doing fine despite the tour losses, citing revenue gained from the crowd-funding site Patreon as helping to keep Pomplamoose going. However, what Conte failed to disclose in the essay was that he is the co-founder and CEO of Patreon, which made over $15 million in investments last year. Understandably, people were not happy.
In a follow-up post, Conte said that his involvement with Patreon has not been a secret and that he does not receive a salary from the company, choosing instead to make a living as a musician. While Conte’s association with the company is quite public (his Twitter profile lists him as Patreon’s CEO), it only serves to make his lack of disclosure in the original post all the more suspicious.