Patreon

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Patreon, Inc.
Patreon wordmark.svg
Type of site
Membership/subscription platform
Available in English
Created by
Website patreon.com
Launched May 2013; 4 years ago (2013-05)

Patreon is an American Internet-based membership platform that provides business tools for creators to run a subscription content service, as well as ways for artists to build relationships and provide exclusive experiences to their subscribers, or "patrons."[1] It is popular among YouTube videographers, webcomic artists, writers, podcasters, musicians, and other categories of creators who post regularly online.[2] It allows artists to receive funding directly from their fans, or patrons, on a recurring basis or per work of art.[3] The company, started by musician Jack Conte[4] and developer Sam Yam[4] in 2013, is based in San Francisco.[5]

History[edit]

Logo used from May 2013–June 2017.

Patreon was founded in May 2013 by artist Jack Conte,[4] who was looking for a way to make a living from his popular YouTube videos.[6] Together with Sam Yam he developed a platform that allows patrons to pay a set amount of money every time an artist creates a work of art. The company raised $2.1 million in August 2013 from a group of venture capitalists and angel investors.[7][8] In June 2014 the company raised a further $15,000,000 in a series A round led by Danny Rimer of Index Ventures.[9][10] In January 2016, the company closed on a fresh round of $30 million in a series B round, led by Thrive Capital which puts the total raised for Patreon at $47.1 million.[11]

The company signed up more than 125,000 "patrons" in its first 18 months.[12] In late 2014, the website announced that patrons were sending over $1,000,000 per month to the site's content creators.[13]

In March 2015, Patreon acquired Subbable, a similar voluntary subscription service created by the Green brothers, John and Hank Green, and brought over Subbable creators and contents, including CGP Grey, Destin Sandlin's Smarter Every Day and the Green brothers' own CrashCourse and SciShow channels.[14] The merger was consequent of an expected migration of payment systems with Amazon Payments that Subbable used.

In October 2015, the site was the target of a large cyber-attack, with almost fifteen gigabytes' worth of password data, donation records, and source code taken and published. The breach exposed more than 2.3 million unique e-mail addresses and millions of private messages.[15][16] Following the attack, some patrons received extortion emails demanding Bitcoin payments in exchange for the protection of their personal information.[17][18][19]

In July 2016, Patreon sent out an email[20] to its users, announcing changes for its more adult-oriented creators. Notably, content creators working under the “NSFW” Not Safe For Work categories on Patreon can now accept payments through PayPal via PayPal's subsidiary Braintree. This move now allows Adult Content creators on Patreon to accept payment more easily. Before these creators could only accept payments through credit cards.

In January 2017, Patreon announced that it had sent over $100,000,000 to creators since its inception.[21]

In May 2017, Patreon announced that it had over 50,000 active creators, 1 million monthly patrons, and was on track to send over $150 million to creators in 2017.[22]

In June 2017, Patreon announced a suite of tools for creators to run membership businesses on the Patreon platform. Notable improvements included a CRM system, a mobile app called Lens, and a service to setup exclusive livestreams.[23]

Business model[edit]

Patreon users are grouped by content type, including video/films, podcast, comedy, comics, games, education, etc. These content creators set up a page on the Patreon website, where patrons can choose to pay a fixed amount to a creator on a monthly basis.[24] Alternatively, content creators can configure their page so that patrons pay every time the artist releases a new piece of art. A creator typically displays a goal that the ongoing revenue will go towards and can set a maximum limit of how much they receive per month. Patrons can cancel their payment at any time. Creators typically provide membership benefits (commonly in the form of exclusive content or behind-the-scenes work) for their patrons depending on the amount that each patron pays.[19][20]

Patrons can unlock monetary tiers that increases the content type they see from the user. A number of content creators on Patreon are also YouTubers. They are able to create content on multiple platforms and while the YouTube videos may be available to the public, the Patrons receive private content made exclusively for them in aiding the Patreon user’s goal.[25] Patreon takes a 5% commission on pledges. As of May 2017, the average pledge per patron was around $12, and a new patron pledged to a creator every 5.5 seconds.[26]

Participating artists[edit]

As of February 2014, almost half of the artists produce YouTube videos, while most of the rest are writers, webcomics artists, musicians, or podcasters.[27]. While the website initially targeted musicians (musician and performer Amanda Palmer uses Patreon and operates independently from a music label), established webcomic artists such as Jonathan Rosenberg, Zach Weinersmith and Paul Taylor are successfully using it.[28]

As of December 2016, Patreon's Community Guidelines allows nudity and suggestive imagery, as long as clearly marked as such, but prohibits content that may be deemed pornographic or as glorifying sexual violence.[29]

Rank Creator # of Patrons US$ Earnings per month

or per work

Average support

per patron

Launch Date
1 Philip DeFranco 15,081 May 2017
2 Chapo Trap House 13,034 $58,094.30 $4.46/month May 2016
3 Amanda Palmer 9,459 $36,529.00 $3.86/thing Mar 2015
4 Sam Harris 8,414 Feb 2016
5 Team Cemu 8,006 $34,240.90 $4.28/month Feb 2016
6 Crash Course 7,664 $29,042.50 $3.79/month Mar 2015
7 Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell 7,488 $28,975.70 $3.87/month Aug 2013
8 Kinda Funny 7,471 $24,260.10 $3.25/month Sep 2014
9 Second Captains 7,364 Feb 2017
10 CGP Grey 7,214 $18,488.70 $2.56/Video Jul 2014
11 S&S 6,796 Apr 2016
12 AvE 6,390 Jan 2015
13 Secular Talk with Kyle Kulinski 6,228 $21,871.50 $3.51/month Apr 2017
14 Colin's Last Stand 6,226 $38,028.70 $6.11/month Mar 2017
15 Easy Allies 6,068 $42,502.10 $7.00/month Mar 2016
16 SciShow 5,824 $22,001.50 $3.78/month Mar 2015
17 The SimBro team 5,514 $13,934.40 $2.53/month Aug 2015
18 Fenoxo Fenfen 5,495 $28,728.80 $5.23/month Apr 2014
19 Jim Sterling 5,479 $12,010.50 $2.19/month Nov 2014
20 Kinda Funny Games 5,238 $17,443.80 $3.33/month Jan 2015
21 Mike Inel 4,939 $4,954.12 $1.00/month Nov 2014
22 Jeph Jacques 4,880 May 2014
23 RollPlay® 4,856 $14,964.40 $3.08/month Jul 2016
24 Laisvės TV 4,767 $16,894.60 $3.54/month Sep 2016
25 The Comedy Button 4,626 $10,347.40 $2.24/month Sep 2014
26 Wait But Why 4,549 Jun 2015
27 Daily Tech News Show 4,522 $14,799.40 $3.27/month Aug 2013
28 Every Frame a Painting 4,313 $7,678.19 $1.78/video Sep 2014
29 Forgotten Weapons 4,194 Sep 2015
30 Danny O'Dwyer 4,177 $22,366.40 $5.35/month Sep 2016
31 Redamz 4,158 $23,513.10 $5.65/month Nov 2015
32 Clickspring 4,110 May 2015
33 The Rubin Report 4,107 $27,728.10 $6.75/month Oct 2015
34 Sakimi Chan 3,924 Nov 2014
35 Extra Credits 3,903 $14,621.30 $3.75/month Apr 2014
36 Jessica Nigri 3,894 Jan 2016
37 RedLetterMedia 3,815 $17,730.40 $4.65/month May 2014
38 Pentatonix 3,795 $19,403.80 $5.11/Music Video Feb 2014
39 Home Free 3,770 $26,840.70 $7.12/video Jun 2014
40 Indiana Neidell 3,761 $16,410.50 $4.36/month Feb 2015
41 The Last Podcast on the Left 3,689 $21,895.30 $5.94/month Sep 2014
42 Rob Dyke 3,602 $15,783.60 $4.38/month May 2014
43 DarkCookie 3,567 $10,766.80 $3.02/month Aug 2016
44 The Pod 3,428 $15,460.30 $4.51/month Aug 2015
45 Tara Babcock 3,418 $6,801.55 $1.99/month Jul 2015
46 Peter Hollens 3,416 $11,762.80 $3.44/music video May 2013
47 Zach Weinersmith 3,402 $6,731.40 $1.98/month Aug 2013
48 InRange TV 3,339 Sep 2015
49 Elana Champion of Lust 3,289 $10,376.40 $3.15/month Apr 2015
50 Dick Masterson 3,284 $20,322.70 $6.19/month Jun 2016

References[edit]

  1. ^ Conte, Jack (14 Jun 2017). "Membership: The Future for Creators". PatreonHQ. Retrieved 14 June 2017. 
  2. ^ Manjoo, Farhad (15 March 2017). "How The Internet Is Saving Culture, Not Killing It". NYTimes. 
  3. ^ The California Report.org: "Creating Patrons of the Arts Through Crowdfunding" July 11–13, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c Jack Conte interviewed on the TV show Triangulation on the TWiT.tv network
  5. ^ Patreon.org: Intro Accessed 14.7.2014
  6. ^ Levitz, Dena (9 September 2013). "Donation, Patron Services Help Fans Support Their Favorite Authors". PBS. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  7. ^ Tate, Ryan (22 October 2013). "The Next Big Thing You Missed: ‘Eternal Kickstarter’ Reinvents Indie Art". Wired. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  8. ^ Luckerson, Victor (4 December 2013). "Top 10 Exciting Startups". Time. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  9. ^ Buhr, Sarah (23 June 2014). "Patreon Raises $15 Million Series A, Revamps Site To Focus More On Content". TechCrunch. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  10. ^ "Patreon Raised $15 Million". YouTube. Jun 23, 2014. Retrieved July 16, 2016. 
  11. ^ Buhr, Sarah (19 Jan 2016). "Patreon Gains $30 Million Series B Funding To Support Growth". TechCrunch. Retrieved 26 June 2016. 
  12. ^ Dredge, Stuart. "Amanda Palmer races to $13,000 per release in Patreon crowdfunding". the Guardian. Retrieved 2015-06-11. 
  13. ^ "Creators on Patreon Receive Over 1,000,000 per Month From Patrons". October 10, 2014. Retrieved June 12, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Patreon Acquires Subbable, Aligning the YouTube Stars". Forbes. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  15. ^ Hunt, Troy. "Pwned websites - Patreon". Have I been pwned?. Retrieved 7 October 2015. 
  16. ^ Goodin, Dan (2 October 2015). "Gigabytes of user data from hack of Patreon donations site dumped online". ars technica. Retrieved 7 October 2015. 
  17. ^ "Extortion attempt on victims of Patreon site hack". BBC. Retrieved 3 November 2016. 
  18. ^ "Scammers Fumble Attempt to Extort Patreon Users". Billboard. Retrieved 3 November 2016. 
  19. ^ Biggs, John. "Extortionists Are Threatening To Release Patreon User Data". Techcrunch. Retrieved 3 November 2016. 
  20. ^ https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/patreon-paypal-adult-content
  21. ^ "Creators have made $100M on Patreon". Medium. Retrieved 9 January 2017. 
  22. ^ "Patreon doubles in a year to 1M paying patrons and 50K creators". Techcrunch. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  23. ^ "Patreon Launches New Tools Following Forecast of $150M In Subscriber Funding". Billboard. Retrieved 14 June 2017. 
  24. ^ "How do I become a creator and make a page on Patreon?". Types of questions. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  25. ^ "How Creative Entrepreneurs are Using Patreon to Build Their Businesses". smallbiztrends.com. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  26. ^ "What Patreon’s Growth Says about the Future for Creators". Patreon. Retrieved 2017-05-17. 
  27. ^ Patreon.com: Projects Roll
  28. ^ Allen, Todd (24 February 2014). "Patreon Raises $2.1 Million". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  29. ^ "Community Guidelines". Patreon. Retrieved 13 December 2016. 

External links[edit]