Patreon welcomes former WME talent agent Avi Gandhi as Head of Creator Partnerships
Creators always come first at Patreon, which is why we’re committed to building an all-star Creator Partnerships team. And now, we’re thrilled to welcome Avi Gandhi to Patreon as the leader of that team. Avi has always championed the creator economy, paving the way for creators to earn an income doing what they love. As a veteran talent manager and executive, he’s worked on a number of incredible projects, including one of the first successful movies starring YouTube creators. With years of experience in the creator space, he’ll guide the team as they focus on helping creators build sustainable membership businesses with Patreon.
Tell us about some of your previous achievements throughout your career.
I began my career as a talent agent when YouTube was gaining traction. Creators drew large audiences, but there wasn’t a mechanism in place to monetize their work. I was one of the first agents in Hollywood representing creators from the internet. I helped create the direct-to-consumer, influencer movie model that launched movies like Camp Dakota with Grace Helbig, Mamrie Hart, and Hannah Hart. I’ve also worked as a creator partnerships consultant and exec in VR and gaming at companies like Survios and Alibaba-owned Sametable Games.
Then I landed at Jimmy Kimmel and Brent Montgomery’s Wheelhouse, where I built and led a team of producers and dealmakers who partnered with internet creators and more traditional media creators to be their creative and production partners.
As a veteran talent agent and EVP at Wheelhouse, what drew you to Patreon?
I worked with top-of-market creators for most of my career and had to say no to many creators with smaller but emerging markets. The business models that I worked in didn’t allow me the time to engage and help them build and scale their businesses. I’m excited to work at Patreon in this role specifically because it’s an opportunity to use my experience to work with those emerging creators. I also have this amazing team that launches hundreds of creators a year. Hopefully soon that’ll be thousands and tens of thousands of creators a year as we grow.
Does your experience influence how you approach your role as Head of Creator Partnerships?
Absolutely. When you spend time working with creators, you learn how crucial it is to respect the art and respect the process. It comes down to relationship management, which is something I learned through experience.
The relationships that I have with agents, managers, lawyers, and executives across the industry certainly will play a role, especially because Patreon is at an inflection point. We’re focused on creating a place where people can earn an income directly from their fans, but at the same time we’re focused on scaling the business. So we want to shift that story toward the business side of things and make the platform appealing for creatives looking to build their businesses, no matter what size those businesses might be. Having those relationships and telling their stories directly to the decision-makers will be valuable.
What advice would you give to people looking to join your team?
Know what your strengths are and know what your network is. There are roles for people passionate about creators, talking to creators, and working with creators, which is exciting.
What type of person would really shine at Patreon/on your team?
People who are genuinely passionate about creators and are genuinely kind, caring, empathetic, driven, business savvy, and committed to getting it done right. We’re out there hustling on behalf of creators to help them recognize the value of developing a membership business and hopefully build it with us.