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What is Patreon? History, Controversies and How it works


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What is Patreon? History, Controversies and How it works?


Many artists and creators by using the internet to share their art. The ever-present problem is generating revenue from their creations. While still building a following. From YouTubers to podcasters to writers. Sharing the art online and finding a fan base can be a rewarding experience. But not for their pocketbook.

In fact, Fortune reported in the year 2018. That the top 3% of the most-viewed YouTube channels. Only made around the amount of $16,800 from advertising in a year. Only slightly more than the United States federal poverty level. And for the rest of the 97%. The Content creators made a lot less.

But with an increasingly complicated way to make money. Through posting art and also content online. Whether it be podcasts, videos, music, and more. The creators have attempted to find new ways to generate revenue. And that is exactly how founders namely Jack Conte. A YouTube musician and his college roommate namely Sam Yam founded Patreon in the year 2013.

But, how does Patreon actually works, and how does it help the creators to make money online?

What is Patreon?

Patreon is the practice of funding a project platform. That enables fans or patrons to pay and support the artists for their work. For many producers of videos, webcomics, music, podcasts, and many more. Patreon is a way to earn extra money on what might otherwise be free content. It allows the fans to contribute to their favorite artist’s platform.

As referred to in a proverb middle man for supporters to donate to creators. Patreon has become more popular primarily through YouTubers and podcasts.

According to the site, Patreon is “inviting fans to be part of something exciting. That gives them the unique benefits that they want. Like the additional use, the practice of excluding, and engaging the experiences.  This allows the donors to become members. They provide financial donations to their favorite artists monthly.

“We want to fund the creative class. The CEO and co-founder namely Jack Conte told The Verge in the year 2017. “Ten years from now, we want more kids growing up and graduating college and high school. To know that being a professional creator is possible.

According to the site, Patreon has over 100,000 creators. Those are earning salaries from over 2 million monthly supporters. They have been earned by creators over the amount of $350 million total.

This site also reports that they currently have 2 million members. Who donates an average of amount $12 per month per patron.

But, how does Patreon actually works? And how much do the creators actually make?

How the Patreon Works?

Patreon allowing creators to earn more income from devoted supporters. But how does this process actually works?

Following recent changes in how YouTube pays the creators. The changes now allow the site to deprive videos for a variety of reasons. For many accounts that are moved to Patreon to build a somewhat. More consistent revenue stream.

Patreon allows creators to set up monthly, subscription-style payment tiers. With the different pledges for different levels of content or for various salary. For example, a patron could subscribe for the amount of $5 per month. They receive the early use of the creator’s content.

The site allows creators to set up patron-only paid content. As well which is only visible to patrons and also charges them to view the content. Additionally, other variations like patron-only unpaid content. The public paid posts are also available.

The Creators can also charge patrons upfront instead of monthly. However, once it has been chosen. The in front option is permanent. One will not be able to change it back to a subscription or per post.

Patrons are able to join by creating an account. Pledging the money to their favorite creator. With the subscription options sorted by different payment tiers. The per-post options for content.

Additionally, according to the site, Patreon has tracked down the declined payments. Shields account users from the chargebacks and tracks their patron history and value.

How Does the Patreon Make Money?

But given that Patreon is the practice of funding a project platform. That generates income for creators. How does the site itself make money?

According to their site, Patreon takes 5% of the amount. Which is paid to creators in fees.

The Top Accounts on Patreon

According to Graphtreon in the year 2019. These are the top five accounts on Patreon that make the most money for the year:

1. Global++

Although their revenues on Patreon were undisclosed in the report. Global++ has creating a PokeGo++ 2.0. It had estimated the earnings of between $66,000 to $791,000. The account has around 68,083 patrons.

Monthly as of the year January 2018. Up some 2,453.8% for the year. However, Global++’s patrons recently dipped for the daily users. To sit at around 64,089 patrons. The account joined in the year March of 2017.

2. The Together Team

Game-creator The Together Team is reportedly bringing in the amount of $32,455 from daily patrons. Some in the amount of $17,328 per month. Up a massive 655% from earlier in the year.

The account possessions some of 26,745 patrons. Donating an average of amount $1.21 each. The Together Team joined Patreon in the year June 2017.

3. Chapo Trap House

The infamous sympathetic to podcast Chapo Trap House. Reported the earnings of about $117,926 a month. With an estimated amount of  $4.47 per patron. The account achievements some 26,409 patrons as of the year 2019, up 2.9%.

The podcast group joined in the year May 2016.

4. Brandon Stanton

Creator of “Humans of New York” Brandon Stanton’s account. It brings in an estimated amount of $30,000 to $214,000. Although official numbers are not published.

With the number of 21,782 daily patrons. Stanton launched his Patreon in the year August 2018. It is the most recent of the top five accounts.

5. DarkCookie

The “NSFW” is not safe for work adult-game accounts. DarkCookie reportedly earns some of the amount of $48,295 a month from patrons. With an average of amount $2.83 a patron.

The account has around 17,076 patrons since joining in the year August 2016.

The Patreon and Minimum Wage

Recently, Patreon has attracted some criticism over the percentage of accounts. On the site that is actually make the federal minimum wage.

According to an analysis by The Outline in the year 2017. Only 2% of Patreon users are making more than the federal minimum wage. During the time of the study amount of $1,160 a month in the year October 2017. That is earnings the data.

In fact, according to the data from Graphtreon. The huge majority of users made only between the amount of  $1 to $100 per month.

So, what is the average income for a Patreon account?

According to the site, Patreon is claiming several factors that are feed into how much a creator might make on the site. Including “the size of the fanbase. The portion of the fanbase that is interested in the membership offer. The attractiveness and value of the membership offering.”

For example, the site offers different reward tiers that have different price tags. It can be connected to different salaries. For example, if a creator offered the amounts of $2, $5, $10, $25, and $100 rewards tiers. The site claims the average patron would pay around the amount of $7.

It could potentially earn a creator with some 30,000 followers with roughly 1% to 5%. Becoming patrons a decent sum. The creator could “hope to earn the amount of  $315 on the low end. The amount of  $1,575 on the high end following the first promotion of their page.”

Still, several reports that claim the average patron donates the amount of $12 a month. So, depending on the percentage of the creator’s subscribers. Who converted into paying the patrons with the monthly income could change greatly.

But that still leaves the big majority of creators on Patreon. It has made between the amount of $1 to $100 a month. According to Graphtreon.

The Patreon Controversies

Still, Patreon has not been spared from the multiple controversies. Especially regarding the payment issues. How the company has dealt with the content users are posting.

The Banned Users

Notably, Patreon has received heavy criticism from some users. Patrons in the year December of 2018 for banning a popular controversial YouTuber named Carl Benjamin. He was also known as Sargon of Akkad. Among the other accounts regard to be part of conservative hate groups.

The move by Patreon was part of a widespread movement in the tech space. To ban extremist users from their sites. Including the likes of PayPal that is PYPL – Get Report, Twitter that is TWTR – Get Report, and Facebook that is FB – Get Report.

According to Business Insider, the purification of several accounts is associated with hate groups. That caused several other creators on the site to stop using it.

The former Breitbart editor and far-right activist namely Milo Yiannopoulos was also banned from the site. According to Vice News.

Not limited to Patreon, the movement to ban the users from tech. The social media sites have incurred some backlash.

In response to the ban. The top Patreon user namely Sam Harris has been reportedly deleted his account on the site. Citing on political bias.

The Payment Issues

Additionally, Patreon has found some issues after the site has begun. Denying patron’s payments and even declining in strength some as fraudulent in the year July of 2018.

According to The Verge, some patrons have reported problems with their payments that they are going through. Even some of them are being flagged as fraud. Seemingly due to “a combination of banking issues. The changes to internal company operations,” The Verge reported.

But the payment snafu was not the first time. Patreon was in hot water over cash. The crowdfunding site also faced many controversies following an announcement to fasten on an additional patron fee of 2.9% for the individual. The pledges in addition to a 35 cent fee. However, the company quickly reversed its position. Saying there would no longer be a fee change.

The Bottom Line

Although the crowdfunding site has faced some light blow in the road. Patreon has helped thousands of online creators. Those are generated more consistent income through the patron-based funding.

And while the majority of creators won’t make hundreds of thousands of dollars a month. But many are able to support financially with their income through the funding structure.

So, this is the important information on the topic of What is Patreon? History, Controversies, and How it works.

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