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Patreon service fee, your thoughts?

#21
@midlandiania I dont mind creators that have an established fanbase- kickstarter & patreon allows them to bypass the traditional ways of getting their work to their audience- and put a lot of the financial rewards into their pockets. If they do the legwork in garnering people to support their stuff, then they've earned it.

But I do think it's pretty jacked up when Patreon takes that stance in that they just want creators with a built in audience- given the fact that a lot of the smaller self-made creators are what helped them to become one of today's crowdfunding giants.
 
#22
@midlandiania I dont mind creators that have an established fanbase- kickstarter & patreon allows them to bypass the traditional ways of getting their work to their audience- and put a lot of the financial rewards into their pockets. If they do the legwork in garnering people to support their stuff, then they've earned it.

But I do think it's pretty jacked up when Patreon takes that stance in that they just want creators with a built in audience- given the fact that a lot of the smaller self-made creators are what helped them to become one of today's crowdfunding giants.
Yes, I maybe didn't put that clearly enough. People who manage to make Patreon their main source of income, and build up a fanbase all through that platform - well done to them - that is great! They might not survive though conventional channels - especially if they are very niche in some way. I have no problem with that. I just wouldn't be likely to continue backing someone who is now earning more than I am(!)

What I would be a bit wary of is if someone who has made it big already suddenly turns to Patreon. Not saying that as an absolute - they might be escaping a restrictive Marvel/DC contract, or wanting to work beyond their usual (e.g.) colourist role. Again, not sure I would give them my own hypothetical low-tier pledge money.

What I don't like is sometimes when you see a Kickstarter that seems to be coming from an established publisher - established publishers should back their own creators themselves, or build crowdfunding into their own model (like unbound.com).
 
#23
Not to mention this tweet popped up- from a quote from an article in relation to Patreon:

"From Patreon: 'We'd rather have our GMV be made up of fewer, but truly life-changed creators rather than a lot of creators making a few dollars.' Well that tells me all I need to know about how much they actually care abt creators"

The full article is here: https://brianbalfour.com/essays/patreon-onboarding-growth - but that does more or less kind of say that they're not interested in creators coming to their platform and building an audience; they want you to already have an audience in place- one that they can make money off of.
This is one of many umbelievably idiotic things I've heared from online companies. I'm starting to believe that they all have an army of moronic chimpanzee as press bureau, because I can't believe tha any actual human being can be so stupid to think that this can be spinned in a posotive way.
Don't get me wrong, they are a company and companies are meant to earn money and think with their wallet, that's fine for me. It's that before tha last few years I've never heard a company openly say "I don't even want your small amount of money because it's so tiny it's basically crap".
 
#24
I've been really lucky not to have lost any pledges (yet) but I don't agree with the changes, I think there's got to be a more logical way of handling the fees. I understand what they're trying to do, but I think they've introduced more confusion than the original problem actually had. At the very least the initial communication of the changes was simply badly handled, but the article that turned up in the last day mentioning "fewer truly life-changed creators" is.... not good.

On Twitter, I've been seeing a few threads popping up with people trying to DIY their own Patreon replacements, through PayPal buttons and Gumroad subscriptions and that sort of thing. I'm definitely watching with interest to see what people come up with, it just makes good sense to not put all your eggs in one basket, if you've got the time and ability to set up an alternative of some kind.
 
#25
This has already negatively impacted my campaign -- I've lost more in pledges than the amount "gained" by their gentler creator fees.

DIY options are there, but those options present limited growth for creators. Non-profits for the arts are still very grant-centric in terms of their funding approach ... they're behind the times. I do expect that non-profit arts funding will inevitably modernize and that non-predatory platforms will eventually present themselves to creators. Until then, I think it's time for us to look at platforms with the same sort of skeptical eye that we use in regards to publishers. As painful as it is, I'm happy that the community's resistance towards the Patreon change has been so fiercely vocal.

I hope they revert before January. Unless they are just aiming for short-term gains to sell their company, I can't imagine that they won't, given the intensity of the backlash they've received.

Unfortunately, there is not currently a better option -- and I suspect Drip will have a very similar pay structure when it launches. Ultimately, any for-profit platform will go this route -- and the only non-profit platforms that exist currently don't have the features for creators that Patreon does ... the API, the embedding options, the multi-media support. Until a non-profit comes around with the goal of sustainability rather than appeasing investors and selling to Amazon (a very possible explanation for Patreon's recent move), platforms like Patreon, Tapas, Youtube, Twitch, etc are going to be consistent in one thing ... in the end, their loyalty to creators is fleeting, a ruse. They're not the champions of our community -- we are. They're just corporations designed to monetize our community.

Someone shared this video on Twitter, and while it's not directly about Patreon, it does apply to Patreon (and all monetization/creator platforms).

 
#26
@Donathin Frye I dont think Patreon is going to revert- nor do I fully trust Drip once it launches. I think the general premise IS that creators are going to have figure multiple ways(possibly on multiple platforms) to generate revenue for themselves, coz no one single platform/site is going to do it for them.
 
#27
Not to mention this tweet popped up- from a quote from an article in relation to Patreon:

"From Patreon: 'We'd rather have our GMV be made up of fewer, but truly life-changed creators rather than a lot of creators making a few dollars.' Well that tells me all I need to know about how much they actually care abt creators"

The full article is here: https://brianbalfour.com/essays/patreon-onboarding-growth - but that does more or less kind of say that they're not interested in creators coming to their platform and building an audience; they want you to already have an audience in place- one that they can make money off of.
Almost not even surprised this is pretty much the direction social media has been moving toward with all these algorithm changes. However, it DOES line up with what I've read before that it's very risky to depend on services that don't belong to you since a few changes could easily wipe out your following. In the end it's their website and they can do with it as they please. :/
 
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#28
DIY options are there, but those options present limited growth for creators. Non-profits for the arts are still very grant-centric in terms of their funding approach ... they're behind the times. I do expect that non-profit arts funding will inevitably modernize and that non-predatory platforms will eventually present themselves to creators. Until then, I think it's time for us to look at platforms with the same sort of skeptical eye that we use in regards to publishers.
I think ultimately that something along the lines of non-profit will be the true way forward. Things are changing all the time with regards to how technology, the internet etc are impacting on economics and work. I hear lots of talk on the radio of us being right in the middle of something like the industrial revolution meets the invention of the printing press. I've often heard - even at a workplace event - that people at school now will be doing jobs that just don't exist yet. Anyway, the good news in all of this is that one sort of activity that will not be made obselete can be described in general as creative activities. A lot of the jobs that will go will be things to do with driving or operating machines, retail, and many administrative tasks.

Anyway, the printing press disrupted alsorts, from education to existing hierarchies (not necessarily in a good way). The industrial revolution also gave rise to things like the cooperative movement. Imagine if Patreon was run so that its profits were given to its staff - that would be a workers' co-op. A consumer co-op, where the patrons got given back profits wouldn't make much sense - unless they re-invested in creators. Or even, more obviously, why not share the profits with the creators? What about if the platform aimed not to make a profit? Why should it make a profit?

Where might such a platform arise? From creators - but they might end up no longer being creators, and the platform may then lose its way. Maybe from something like an Arts Council - which would be sort-of linked to government. Like @Donathin Frye says, currently any non-profit/government entity is largely stuck in all-or-nothing grant mode, and that probably comes with conditions, and is only ever for one specific project. Maybe someone rich could set something up, throwing money at it to begin with, then leaving it as a sustainable model.

I do like things that seem to be a hybrid of old-fashioned publishing crossed with crowdfunding. That seems like a model where a creator gets support with things like production, fulfillment, promotion and distribution, and is left to just get on with the creative bit: unbound.com is an example of this. After a successful campaign, their books end up in high street shops (I have bought a couple of their books that way - notable titles from them include Letters of Note and The Good Immigrant - both unorthodox yet hugely successful). I guess I like the idea of a real publisher, but one that has adapted their model to the times. I don't know if there is a comic-specific publisher that works along such lines (I think unbound include graphic novels in what they do, but it is by no means their focus). As much as I always like creators to be the focus of it all, a model like this does give professional support to creators, and I hope that things like editing and marketing and all that continue to exist, and support creators. One thing I worry about with all the nice little folk doing their webcomics in little towns in dull parts of the world is that beyond the economics, a model that brings likeminded people together would surely be better for sanity. If 'the platform' is more of a team, or fellowship of other creators, and those who support that creation... surely that is a good thing?

However, I'm still really interested in the idea of a Universal Basic Income. I'm sure if I got the chance to discuss it properly with someone with some expertise in the field, they would probably tell me why it could never work, but what the hell. One reason I like it is it gets things off everyone's backs - allows people time and freedom from getting trapped, and allows everybody a chance to make career changes or develop useful skills. Or come up with alternative platforms.

[filibuster ends]
 

JamieMe

Administrator
Staff member
#30
Here is what Patreon had to say from the blog:


"Creators and Patrons,

We’ve heard you loud and clear. We’re not going to rollout the changes to our payments system that we announced last week. We still have to fix the problems that those changes addressed, but we’re going to fix them in a different way, and we’re going to work with you to come up with the specifics, as we should have done the first time around. Many of you lost patrons, and you lost income. No apology will make up for that, but nevertheless, I’m sorry. It is our core belief that you should own the relationships with your fans. These are your businesses, and they are your fans.

I’ve spent hours and hours on the phone with creators, and so has the Patreon team. Your feedback has been crystal clear:

  • The new payments system disproportionately impacted $1 – $2 patrons. We have to build a better system for them.
  • Aggregation is highly-valued, and we underestimated that.
  • Fundamentally, creators should own the business decisions with their fans, not Patreon. We overstepped our bounds and injected ourselves into that relationship, against our core belief as a business.
We recognize that we need to be better at involving you more deeply and earlier in these kinds of decisions and product changes. Additionally, we need to give you a more flexible product and platform to allow you to own the way you run your memberships.

I know it will take a long time for us to earn back your trust. But we are utterly devoted to your success and to getting you sustainable, reliable income for being a creator. We will work harder than ever to build you tools, functionality, and income, and our team won’t rest until Patreon is making that happen.

If you haven’t sent us a note yet, or if you don’t see your concerns listed above, please leave us your feedback here.

Thanks for continuing to create. We are nothing without you, and we know that.

Jack"

Thoughts?
 
#32
Still doesnt change what I said earlier in this thread- creators need to utilize MULTIPLE sources to gain income. Just because Patreon is "sorry" today doesnt mean they won't try this again tomorrow. In fact, they will if their revenue is being severely impacted down the road...
 
#33
Still doesnt change what I said earlier in this thread- creators need to utilize MULTIPLE sources to gain income. Just because Patreon is "sorry" today doesnt mean they won't try this again tomorrow. In fact, they will if their revenue is being severely impacted down the road...
THIS. Also, they gave a huge middle finger to small creators, saying they didn't mind losing us because we're "unqualified leads" and not "life changed creators." Going back now for me would be the equivalent of going back to an ex that said they were never attracted tome and only with me until someone hotter came along.
 
#34
@Indira J I havent dropped Patreon yet- but they're not gonna be the only game in town. Looking to 2018, I'm gonna have to find some new venues to generating income- so that if(when) this happens again, I wont be standin there lookin boggled, like someone kicked in the restroom door while I was takin a piss, goin, "whut- ?!?"
 
#35
I'm going to choose to naively to believe that this is people power at work, but I'm thinking it's more coming down to the negative publicity the company has been getting that changed their minds, rather than anything else.
 
#37
@Shaneoid from what I've heard, some of the larger, more established creators over at Patreon expressed their displeasure at the changes; that, plus some of the other goin-ons may have gotten Patreon to reconsider their actions.