Content creators of any kind have had to deal with financial problems for as long as art itself has existed. Anyone who wants to be in the business knows how difficult it can be to stand out, even relying on luck. In fact, many have made peace with the idea that art could never not be their main source of income. But what if that were changing?
For years we have been witnessing a constant evolution in terms of content generation. New technologies have been paving the way for artists, both 21st century and seasoned. Platforms have been created that give voice, tools that facilitate the process and much more.
Some of the most talked about examples might be social networks like Instagram and YouTube. But these platforms don’t always give the economic stability that content creators are looking for. That’s why platforms like Twitch or Patreon are becoming more and more successful, because they provide freedom and security. Today we will focus on exploring how the latter works.
What is Patreon?
Patreon is a subscription platform based on a system of patronage or, in other words, crowdfunding. This system allows content creators, whatever their field, to live off their creativity and generate an additional or even main source of income.
The platform was born in 2013 in the United States. It was co-founded by Jack Conte and Sam Yam. Conte is a musician who saw the need to generate income in order to continue creating his art. Adding this to the industry’s growing neglect of the artistic community, an idea arose in Conte’s mind from which Patreon would eventually be born. The platform was developed in just six weeks thanks to his college friend, Sam Yam.
Nine years later, Patreon has become the solution to this very problem for more than 200,000 creators who have collectively earned more than $2 billion directly from their backers.
The startup reached a valuation of approximately $4 billion in April 2021. This event took place just six months after reaching unicorn status. It is also worth mentioning that Patreon helps more than 200,000 creators and is supported by more than 6 million active patrons spread around the world.
How does Patreon work?
It’s simple. The idea is that content creators offer a membership that includes access to exclusive content and charge a monthly subscription. Within this exclusive content there can be videos, private chats, previews, live, presales or discounts, among many other things, always taking into account the main theme of the community.
To access Patreon, first of all, you must create an account. Registration is divided into two categories: creators and patrons.
There are many types of creators on the platform: writers, illustrators, singers, cartoonists, podcasters, youtubers, influencers, etc. Usually, they decide to register on the platform to have a more direct contact with their followers and encourage them to help them financially to continue creating.
Once their registration on Patreon has been accepted, creators will have to choose whether their income will be monthly or per creation. In addition, it is recommended that they write a post explaining to their patrons how their Patreon account will work and what they are offering.
If you want to become a patron, all you have to do is search for your favorite content creators and choose the subscription plan that best fits your budget. After adding a payment method (credit card, debit card, PayPal, etc.), the subscriber can start enjoying the benefits of patronage.
The price of these plans will depend on the different options offered by the artist. The most basic plans tend to be very inexpensive, around $5, although some premium plans can be valued at $100 or more. Each content creator is free to offer as many plans as they wish and to price them as they see fit. Of course, the more the patron pays, the more exclusive content they will be able to consume.