Patreon announced that it has raised $60M in new funding. CEO of Patreon, Jack Conte stated on Medium that Patreon will use that funding to scale their team, to build faster, and to build more. In other words, the money be used to help Patron’s product evolve.
Many podcasters use Patreon as a way to raise money so they can continue to podcast. It costs money to keep your website hosting going. Patreon is also a good way to deliver special content to your superfans.
TechCrunch reported that Patreon raised $60 million led by Chris Paik at Thrive Capital, which also led Patreon’s Series B funding. According to TechCrunch:
The new capital will go towards hiring to expand its 80 person team and scaling up growth by recruiting more creators including videographers, political pundits, game developers, illustrators, musicians, and comedians.
Here’s what Jack Conte says you can expect as a creator on Patreon:
- Analytics for understanding your patrons, your rewards, and your income
- Dashboards that summarize the performance of your membership business and give you clear and helpful suggestions
- Rock solid and simple financials
- Rewards management, automation, and delivery
- Patron management (Who are my patrons? What are their Twitter handles? How much have they spent on me?)
In addition, there will be changes that will give creators everything they need to entice and keep their patrons. The idea is to make offering and fulfilling rewards or benefits to be seamless. In the Medium post, it says “We segment rewards into three main categories.” Those categories are:
- Creator-patron intimacy, like live interactions and patron-only polls
- Ongoing exclusivity, like access to a patron-only Discord server or early-access to content
- Actual goods, whether digital or physical, like a signed poster or an extra episode
Crowdfunding platform Patreon has become a prominent monetization source for many podcasters. By default, Patreon charges backers once per month, and after it takes fees off the top of those charges, it passes payments on to Patreon creators. In response to Patreon users who’ve asked the service to make payments go thru faster, Patreon has added a new Charge Up Front option.
Charge Up Front will only be available to Patreon creators who use the service to collect monthly contributions from their backers. Creators who operate their accounts on a charge-per-creation basis (example: podcasters who only collect from backers when they release a new episode) are not eligible to use Charge Up Front. Current Patreon users who opt to switch to the Charge Up Front option will not be able to switch back to the standard monthly collection system already in use by most Patreon creators. Also, per-creation creators who switch to a monthly-donation plan in order to take advantage of Charge Up Front will not be able to change back to the per-creation option:
Charge up front is permanent and cannot be changed; once you elect to charge your patrons up front, you cannot undo this. If you switch to charge up front from a per creation account type, you will not be able to switch back to charging your patrons per creation.
Another thing to keep in mind about the new Charge Up Front service:
For security purposes, payouts from your account will be placed on a temporary hold for five days after opting into “charge up front.” This feature is gradually being rolled out and is not available for all creators yet. You’ll receive an email notification once it’s available for your page.
If you’re a Patreon user and you’d like to begin using Charge Up Front, follow the link at the top of this article to learn more about the feature and how you can enable it.
Patreon provides a simple way for podcasters to monetize their podcasts. Podomatic helps podcasters reach an audience with free podcasts, customizable embedded players, and promotional tools. The two companies have partnered – and the outcome could benefit podcasters.
Patreon is integrating with Podomatic so that podcasters can easily monetize their business and build a closer network with their fans. If you want to make use of this integration you need to have a Patreon for your podcast and have your podcast on Podomatic.
After that, all you need to do is put a Patreon button on your Podomatic profile that links directly to your Patreon page. You can do this by clicking on the “funding” tab in your Podomatic settings and adding the link to your Patreon page.
The purpose of this integration is to make it easy for your followers on Podomatic to see how they can contribute more to your work. A listener who is already looking at your podcast’s page on Podomatic can click a button and go right to you Patreon. That’s quicker and easier than if they had to go searching for your Patreon themselves.
It should be noted that podcasters can use Patreon without using Podomatic, and can use Podomatic without using Patreon. The partnership between the two companies could be beneficial for podcasters who are already using both services, or who are using one and were considering using the other as well.
Patreon has become a popular crowdfunding platform for podcasters. And the people behind the service have taken notice. Patreon launched a new feature this week that could’ve only been inspired by the needs of podcasters; Private RSS feeds.
Offering premium content behind a paywall is a monetization strategy used by many podcasters. But the solutions for doing that can be complex and unreliable. Usually, podcasters just upload a cache of files to a server behind a password-protected paywall. Or they’d try and create their own premium content system using various combinations of WordPress plugins and third-party providers.
Patreon’s new offering should make the process of providing premium podcast content much easier. When Patreon creators upload media files to their account, those files will automatically go into a generator on Patreon’s backend that creates unique, private RSS feed URLs for Patreon backers. Those URLs can then be added to most popular podcast-consumption apps, like iOS Podcasts, Downcast, Overcast, Podcast Addict, and more. When creators add new media file to their Patreon accounts, backers will receive them via their private RSS feeds.
The Patreon website discourages users from sharing their private RSS feed links. But it’s unclear if Patreon will be actively monitoring the usage of these feeds for potential infringement. And while it seems logical that these feeds would stop working for backers who’ve stopped donating, the website doesn’t say anything about this.
Patreon has made a change that clarifies how much creators are actually receiving. Those of you have a Patreon for your podcast may already be aware that the amount it showed you were getting per month wasn’t actually accurate. This may have led to some unnecessary confusion.
Previously, patrons would see the number Pateron said your podcast was making per month. It may have appeared that you had earned enough to have hit a milestone goal – when in reality, that simply wasn’t factual. The problem was that that Patreon was showing the amount of money your podcast earned per month – without taking into account fees and declined pledges.
As such, the situation could have placed some podcasters into the uncomfortable position of having their patrons expecting to receive whatever was offered for a milestone goal – before the podcaster had actually earned the money. It is easy to see why this was a problem.
Go have a look at Patreon, and you will see a change. There is now a little question mark that has appeared next to the phrase “per month”. Patrons can hover over the question mark to get more information. A small pop-up window says: “Estimated income per month, after removing fees and declined pledges. Click for more details”.
A slightly different pop-up is shown to the creator. “Don’t worry! This is your estimated income for this month, after removing fees and declined pledges. Actual pledge total available in your patreon manager. Click for more details.”
That “click” will direct patrons to the Patreon Help Center and a post that is titled: “Why Is My Public Facing Dollar Amount Less Than The Amount That Is Pledged To Me?” This post explains the new change to creators and to patrons.
Overall, this change was made for better transparency. Every creator, every patron, every visitor to your Patreon page will see the adjusted dollar figure.
Pateron announced this week that it now has mobile apps that are available on both iOS and Android devices. Those of you who have a Patreon attached to your podcast probably received an email about this when the apps launched. Patreon also tweeted about their new apps.
The Patreon iOS app can be downloaded for free. It was updated on December 10, 2015. The app requires iOS 7.1 or later. It is also compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The Patreon Android app can also be downloaded for free. It was updated on December 7, 2015. The app requires 4.0 and up.
Now, you can take Patreon with you wherever you go (if you have an iOS or Android device). Someone on Twitter asked Patreon if they had plans on making the app for Windows Phones. Patreon responded that they had “no plans yet”.
It initially looked like last week’s news of Patreon being hacked was just another run-of-the-mill story about a cybersecurity breach. But it turns out there may be more to it.
Ars Technica is reporting that the information acquired by hackers has been posted online in the form of a “data dump.” The information was analyzed by a security researcher, who concluded that it appears to be authentic data from Patreon’s servers. The researcher was eventually able to restore a database from the hacked files and search it, where he found his own e-mail address, as well as the e-mail addresses of other Patreon users.
Account passwords that were extracted during the hack were protected using an encryption scheme called bcrypt. This is good news, as bcrypt requires a lot of computational power to crack. However, hackers were able to acquire some additional source code during the attack. They may be able to use that code to more easily defeat the bcrypt encryption. That’s what happened during the recent high-profile Ashley Madison hack.
Patreon hasn’t released an updated statement to its original security notice. It’s still highly recommended that users reset their passwords, as well as passwords to other accounts that might’ve used the same password.
Patreon, a popular crowdfunding platform used by many podcasters, issued a security notice earlier this week to all users. From a statement posted by Patreon CEO Jack Conte:
Yesterday I learned that there was unauthorized access to a Patreon database containing user information. Our engineering team has since blocked this access and taken immediate measures to prevent future breaches.
There was unauthorized access to registered names, email addresses, posts, and some shipping addresses. Additionally, some billing addresses that were added prior to 2014 were also accessed. We do not store full credit card numbers on our servers and no credit card numbers were compromised. Although accessed, all passwords, social security numbers and tax form information remain safely encrypted with a 2048-bit RSA key.
The statement goes on to say that no action is required in response to this issue. But Patreon is recommending as a precaution that users reset their account passwords. For full details on the nature of the security breach as well as what Patreon did to correct the problem, click the link at the top of this blog post.
Podcasting service and media hosting company Blubrry launched a Patreon campaign to help support ongoing development of its popular PowerPress plugin for WordPress. Blubrry has provided the plugin to podcasters completely for free since the plugin was first released in 2008. Since then, PowerPress has been used to create tens of thousands of unique podcast RSS feeds. Blubrry is hoping that the podcasting community will return the favor by supporting its efforts thru Patreon:
…we want to do more for you, the content and the content creators you love. We are deeply committed to providing this free tool to the podcasting world; our ambitions for our podcast content creators and their audiences are endless, and we want you to come with us for the ride.
As a Patron, you’ll find Blubrry has an extensive road-map of upgrades and new enhancements to the plugin in the works. We provide regular insider looks at our features before they are released and are committed to considering and implementing ideas from sponsors.
Blubrry’s Patreon campaign has several reward levels to offer when specific funding goals are reached. This include things like producing a detailed PowerPress tutorial as well as redesigns to the PowerPress setup page and user interface. Blubrry also states that the Patreon campaign will help the company in these key ways:
- Maintaining a 30-60 day enhancement cycle for all products (including PowerPress)
- Feature requests submitted by patrons will get higher priority than other requests
- Continuing to provide free technical support to users
- Hiring dedicated PowerPress developers (in addition to Angelo Mandato, the original and current lead developer of PowerPress)
To learn more about Blubrry’s Patreon campaign and become a patron, follow the link at the top of this post.
Disclosure: I work part-time with the Blubrry support team and Podcaster News Executive Editor Todd Cochrane is the CEO of Rawvoice, parent company of Blubrry.